Future-oriented maths and science education

An EU-funded initiative is promoting widespread use of inquiry-based learning (IBL) in primary and secondary schools through a multi-stakeholder dissemination approach. The ultimate goal is to connect IBL in science education with the professional world, making science more meaningful for students and encouraging interest in careers in mathematics, science and technology.

IBL can support the development of student competences in maths and science lessons, equipping young people with professional skills and fostering their interest in maths and science. Therefore, the project MASCIL (Mathematics and science for life) supports a stronger uptake of IBL in everyday teaching practices in maths and science. Its innovative approach connects IBL to the world of work (WoW).

The consortium comprises 18 academic teams and is supported by the European Advisory Board (EAB) whose members come e.g. from school authorities or policy institutions. Initial project work was devoted to setting up National Advisory Boards (NAB) in order to anchor innovative developments in local settings and to connect the project implementation to local structures and systems. To foster knowledge exchange NABs are linked internationally, by sending one of their members to the EAB.

The multi-level and multi-stakeholder dissemination strategy is central to the project's goals and is bridging the gap between the maths and science education research community and local actors and practices. The mascil newsletter informs a European community of over 1000 and two international conferences connecting research, practice and policy help to realise maximum dissemination and impact.

Project activities focus on the teacher, and their teaching and professional development (PD). Strategies effectively supporting the scaling-up of teachers' PD through training and other actions are therefore at the core of project work. Research-based analysis of the implementation and policy contexts support the design and delivery of mascil’s activities.

The project has produced national papers on different policy contexts, a cross-national report and international policy briefs. First versions of an IBL-WoW classroom material collection have been published as well as a research-based toolkit for teacher professional development in IBL pedagogies within a WoW context, both for pre-service and in-service teachers, and also available in an e-learning version.

The project has organized the influential first international conference on approaches to scaling-up teacher PD in maths and science education and supports a networking initiative among European PD centres.

Ongoing work is slated to make a substantial impact on the European education scene through effective, systems-oriented dissemination of IBL pedagogies with a world-of-work context to teachers and educators.

last modification: 2016-02-01

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