Good Practices

Student materials

In addition to the Best Practices database, the project will present some exemplars from student and classroom materials to support the understanding of how the SSIBL framework can be implemented in real-world settings.


The following are some examples of the topics being addressed at different educational levels by the PARRISE project:


Elementary science (WP2) Sustainable development in urban ecosystems; recycling; infectious diseases;heredity and genetic disorders; science and space.

Lower secondary education (WP3) Pollution and environmental-friendly policies; sustainable energy use; genomics; waste; climate change; epigenetics.

Upper secondary education (WP4)  Biotechnology; bioinformatics; solar energy and green supplies; sustainability; temperature control and regulation; the health effects of statins; cancer genomics; nanotechnology, embryonic cells.

The page now only includes descriptions of these materials and that the actual materials will be included at a later stage.

Exemplar 1: The development of the London 2012 Olympic Park

Highlighting the relationship between RRI, IBSE, SSI and CE

london-2012-olympic-parkAn example of how SSIBL can be conceptualised and operationalized is the development of the London 2012 Olympic Park, which offered young people in London the opportunity to explore some controversial scientific problems involved in the construction of the Olympic stadium.  From a specially constructed classroom – the View Tube – on the Olympic site students could monitor the development of the building of the stadium and the effect on issues of sustainability and health and safety. For example, radioactive materials from old industrial workshops were left within sealed containers rather than transported from the site. Colonies of newts and frogs were transported from the site to new habitats.

Through the support of their teachers and experienced Field Studies staff, students used the facilities of the site to study the costs and benefits of these disturbances and the effects on the lives of the wider and local communities. The inquiries stemmed from links to their own environment and the effect on their own communities hence they were able to explore different ways of storing radioactive material safely in the context of the developments of the site through discussions with experts and their peers and simulations on site.

Operationalizing this project could be realised through the following stages which draw on the framework:

1. Either the students generate a problem or the teacher raises an issue which they have good grounds for believing is of genuine concern to the pupils. In the Olympic Park project teachers use the context to develop questions with their students which raise their awareness of the immediacy of the issue in terms of their own and communal wellbeing. In so doing the teachers will need to draw on crucial pedagogic skills such as foregrounding the power of representation, e.g. through the media and jogging pupil beliefs through encouraging them to present new and diverse points of view. Professional development activities will focus on the pedagogic challenges and the national and cultural priorities and opportunities.

2. Once pupils are able to see this as an authentic problem which resonates with their own concerns they are then encouraged to define the problem. It is at this point that CE plays an important role in supporting collaboration, taking into account critically the views of all young people engaged in the project and the rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders. Inputs from citizenship educators as well as science teacher trainers are important at this point.

3. Once they have defined the problem and the research question for the investigation (IBSE) they have to formulate ways of collecting appropriate evidence (SSI), and identifying how a research project involving diverse and conflicting parties can be negotiated, an important aspect of RRI (Sutcliffe, 2011). Supporting teachers in recognising the barriers to progress and formulating strategies for overcoming them is vital at this point.

4. An important final stage is how solutions to a problem are operationalized and acted upon. How voices are heard is a fundamental part of democratic participation and CE.

Exemplar 2: E-cigarettes

e-cigarette-1301670_960_720Driving question: Should e-cigarettes be allowed in schools for students aged 16+?

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) – What prompted their development? Whose interests? How is it relayed in the media? Differences between experts.

Socio‐Scientific Issues (SSI)
Identifying the problems
What is the level of controversy? (See Levinson 2006)
Where are the fuzzy points?

Citizenship Education (CE)
Questions of rights and responsibility
Who takes part?
How are decisions made?

Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE)
Indicators for health
What evidence should we look for? Reliability

European Commission

PARRISE (grant agreement 612438) is a four year programme (2014-2017) funded by the European Commission.

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