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06.10.2016 - UNESCO Venice Office

The Ark of Inquiry teacher training plan in Italy

Kristina Kravets from AHHAA -Ark of Inquiry Newslettter 3/2016

The Ark of Inquiry teacher training model and schedule for Italy developed by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is significantly different from the “one-size-fits-all” kind of professional development courses which are known to have very limited effectiveness. This particular training programme is tailor-made to fit the objectives and needs of the project and to assist in achieving its desired results.

In order to conduct these trainings, UNESCO has entered into a strategic cooperation with the association of Natural Science Teachers ANISN (Associazione Nazionale Insegnanti di Scienze Naturali), which is a qualified entity for training teachers by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR). ANISN has helped the project in various ways to reach the science teachers community, select the training venues and its involvement in the trainings will give an additional incentive to the teachers to participate in the form of accreditation and certificates recognized by the Ministry.

The training programme will focus on enhancing the capacities and professional development of the participants to become progressively expert in Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) and the usage of inquiry activities, with the support of local and national networks of peers and experts. This will be achieved by:

  • Adapting the training model and resources to the Italian and local context. The training modules and materials have been translated into Italian and combined in separate booklets for the 3 phases (teachers as learners, thinkers and reflective practitioners). This is done for ease of understanding and accessibility to the teachers.
  • Adopting a pragmatic approach and creating a multilevel system to support the development process of the teachers involved in the project.
  • Creating a local Ark of Inquiry nucleus in 3 Italian regions which will act as reference centres/ communities of practice, and will be a starting point for further dissemination processes.
  • Establishing a network of Ark of Inquiry reference school teachers and coaching teachers by involving teachers with both basic and expert knowledge of IBSE.
  • Sustaining a dynamic system, that capitalizes on the feedback and the results of the training project in order to improve and develop the successive training courses.

These objectives have been formulated based on the results and recommendations of the project’s pilot phase in Italy, taking into consideration the different backgrounds of the teachers and their different expertise in the inquiry-based teaching approach.

5 November 2016 IC Roncalli, Rosà (VI) 9 November 2016 Laboratorio di Scienze Sperimentali , Foligno (PG) Stazione zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli (NA) 20 & 21 October 2016 Training sessions are planned in 3 different cities in Italy: Naples, Rosa and Foligno.

The hosting institutions for the training programmes include a research centre in Naples, a well-equipped school in Rosa and a science centre laboratory in Foligno. Their involvement might also lead to the desired involvement of science centres, museums and schools in the Ark of Inquiry project, which is one of the overarching aims of the project.

It is worth mentioning that the training courses will be designed and structured differently according to the various regions targeted in this training program. This is due to the differences in the backgrounds of the teachers and their expertise in inquiry-based teaching approach.

In Naples, the teachers will be divided into two groups based on their expertise in IBSE. For the first group with basic expertise in Inquiry-based approach, the Phase A and C (Teachers as learners and reflective practitioners) training will involve an online medium, the training session in presence will be on Phase B (Teachers as thinkers). For the second group with advanced expertise in IBSE, the training session will focus on a group discussion about resources, the different phases of trainings, context specific teaching methods and comparison with previous experiences in order to improve IBSE. These teachers will also be multipliers of inquiry-based science education in future.

In Rosa and Foligno, the training courses will be on Phases A and B during the trainings in presence and training for Phase C will be using the online mean.

Ms. Anna Pascucci has been added to the team as a resource person in Italy who will extend her support in form of facilitation, conduction and follow up of trainings. She will also be available until February 2017 to provide support to the teachers and to evaluate the findings from the implementation phase.

Link : Newsletter 3/2016

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