Improving Teacher Education in Maths and Science
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Its aim is to develop a framework aimed at improving the competencies of science and mathematics teachers and, consequently, increasing the students attainment and interest in these areas.
There is a growing body of evidence that shows that young people across Europe are losing interest in key science studies. Recent work by the OECD indicates that the number of young people entering university is increasing, but they choose to study fields other than science. On the other hand, changes in society place new demands on the teaching profession. These demands require a high degree of teachers professionalism as it is well known that the major determinant of any education system is the quality of its teachers. All this suggests the necessity of improving the quality of teacher education in Science and Mathematics.
ITEMS project aims at helping to solve a relevant issue: the recognised need to improve the education and professionalism of the Science and Mathematics teachers. To solve this, ITEMS will produce innovative learning-teaching materials based in an inquiry-based learning approach and the use of the collaborative tools offered by the Moodle platform. The proposed methodology consists of training teachers in the use of the new materials and then supporting/mentoring them in their use in the classroom.
The central objective of the ITEMS project is the development of a framework aimed at improving the competences of science and mathematics teachers and, consequently, increasing the students attainment and interest in these areas. In order to achieve this the work programme is organised in three stages:
- Development of educational material for secondary school students in Science and Mathematics using a new model of course production based in the packaging of Learning Objects in a Moodle format.
- Dissemination of such material through training courses aimed at familiarising teachers in the management of the modules in a classroom environment using an on-line/blended approach.
- Mentoring teachers experimenting the materials in their classroom in order to facilitate sustainable accessibility to the ITEMS materials.
To achieve ITEMS objectives a multi-actor consortium with diverse background, competence and scope have been created. It is composed of European Schoolnet, an European institution, CEFIRE (Spain) and SLSS (Ireland), teacher training institutions at regional and national level respectively and, finally, Gymnasium Isernhagen (Hannover, Germany) and Gimnazija Poljane (Ljubljana, Slovenia), secondary schools that will help to keep connected the consortium to the everyday reality of the school life.