European education experts at University of Leicester to develop innovation in science and maths teaching

Posted by pt91 at Sep 12, 2011 11:42 AM |
Major European scheme aimed at encouraging relevant and practical learning

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 12 September 2011

The University of Leicester is hosting a major European workshop  on innovative approaches to cross curricular mathematics and science teaching.

The University of Leicester is the only centre in England to have been chosen as a lead Centre in the EU-funded Fibonacci Project – a major European scheme aimed at encouraging relevant and practical learning.

The Fibonacci approach brings together the teaching of maths and science through inquiry-based approaches that pupils will find relevant, interesting and engaging while at the same time demonstrating that the two subjects are naturally linked.

Academics at the university are working with 25 primary and secondary teachers from 12 schools on the scheme. In total, there are 36 partners in 21 European countries involved in the Project.

This week, Professor Tina Jarvis from the University’s School of Education, supported by Leicester colleagues, is leading a cross-cutting Topic within the Project on Cross-curricular approaches to Inquiry in mathematics and science. The centres within this topic (from Ireland, France, Estonia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Romania) have been working together on the development of innovative approaches to cross curricular mathematics and science teaching.

This workshop will bring together teachers and teacher educators from across Europe to explore how to make effective links between science and mathematics and different school curriculum areas in order to support learning in each subject, using quality inquiry methods.

There will be Keynote presentations from Professor Michael Reiss, from University of London Institute of Education, on ‘The Nature of Science’, and from Rosemary Feasey, a leading expert in primary science, on ‘Linking Out-of-School Activities to a Cross Curricular Theme’. Following on from Rosemary’s presentation, participants will have an opportunity to try out practical activities at Snibston Discovery Museum and Country Park.

A range of smaller workshop sessions will also take place, led by experts from within and beyond the Fibonacci Project. Topics range from the use of Leicester’s Botanical Gardens to develop mathematics and science teaching, to sessions on linking mathematics and science to language development, opportunities to integrate the use of technology, and ‘Poetry and Magnetism’. Colleagues from the Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistics Education will be running a workshop on their exciting ‘ExperimentsAtSchool’ project, which involves students across the world in produce and share data from science experiments.

Professor Janet Ainley, Director of Leicester’s School of Education, said the project had two main goals: to raise standards in schools by improving teacher education and to raise the profile of maths and science among students.

“We work with teachers to look at how themes arising in the science curriculum can be developed in a cross-curricular way,” she said.

“It is based on teachers and pupils posing and exploring questions through investigation and practical approaches.”

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