XploreHealth organised on 13 March 2013 in CosmoCaixa Science Museum in Barcelona, a meeting of educational centres acting as pilot centres in Catalonia during the current academic year. These 15 educational centres were selected during the "Bringing biotechnology revolution into the classroom” course which was organised by XploreHealth with the support of the biotechnology company Amgen, at the Barcelona Science Park in November 2012. The Barcelona meeting was organised in collaboration with the CDEC (Center of Science Experimentation) of the Department of Education of the Generalitat de Catalunya.
During this year, another 15 educational centers in Galicia are carrying out the same activities in parallel, and will be soon meeting in La Coruña.
Among other tasks, those centers volunteered to implement classroom activities by using the multimedia tools offered by Xplore Health and by promoting, at the same time, Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE).
During the course organised simultaneously in Barcelona and Galicia on November, those pilot educational centers had already participated in a first workshop where activities encouraging this classrooms teaching methods were presented.
The workshop started on Wednesday at 5h pm with a short reminder on the IBSE method. After that, some of the participant teachers commented their experience in the classroom.
Then, 4 working groups were created to reflect on the degree of Inquiry-Based classroom activities that each center had designed and on how could they be improved. In order to facilitate this task a document elaborated by CDEC was given to each group. This document describes the working methodology to evaluate the degree of Inquiry-Based activities, based on a set of indicators.
This document is structured around six criteria that any inquiry activity should meet - although deemed that not all activities are request to fulfil all of them.
- 1- Beginning with an interesting problem or situation
- 2- Promoting science own procedures work
- 3- Coherence between contents and the planned task resolution and integration of academic contents.
- 4- Guiding in a structured and flexible way the consecution learning objectives for all students
- 5- Considering science as knowledge produced through collaborative work as a tool for learning and socialization
- 6- Considering evaluation as knowledge transfer and as a tool for monitoring the learning process.
The document provides a series of indicators for each of these sections that may help to carry out the evaluation.
After a break, each working group presented the analyzed activities and the reflections carried out. Very innovative classroom activities were presented.
Collaborative working among participant teachers continues online with a platform called Basecamp, a task manager and organiser tool for collaborative working teams. With this tool, anyone can share ideas and new initiatives to keep improving and advancing towards classroom increasingly inquiry-based activities.
It is expected that during the forthcoming 2013-2014 academic year, new educational centers will join the pilot centre group working with inquiry-based methodologies. If you are interested, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you informed.