by Eleni A. Kyza & Yiannis Georgiou (Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus)
The 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA2015) took place in Helsinki, Finland between August 31 to September 4, 2015. The ESERA bi-annual conference serves as an important milestone in the European science education community, providing science educators and science education researchers with the opportunity to present their work and learn from science education efforts around Europe.
PARRISE had a strong presence at the conference, as the partners had organized two symposia. Moreover, it was represented in the European projects poster session, which was intended to serve as a communication platform for information exchange and networking.
The first symposium entitled “Towards socio-scientific inquiry-based learning in teacher education – Experiences from across Europe” was organized and chaired by the coordinator of the PARRISE project, Dr. Christine Knippels (Utrecht University). The discussant of the symposium was Dr. Isabel Martins from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, who is a member of the PARRISE external advisory board. The symposium focused on the experiences of four PARRISE partners (UCL Institute of Education, Radboud University, University of Montpellier, University of Porto) with the SSIBL pedagogical framework (see Figures 1-2).
The second symposium was titled “Citizenship, Inquiry and Responsibility in socio-scientific issues: An analysis of national curricula” and was organized and chaired by Dr. Eleni A. Kyza. Dr. Maria Evagorou (University of Nicosia), who is participating in the ENGAGE project, another EU-funded RRI effort, was the discussant of the session. The symposium focused on a cross-cultural analysis of national curricula in five of the PARRISE countries (Cyprus, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Sweden) in terms of the four SSIBL aspects (socio-scientific issues, scientific inquiry, active citizenship, responsible research and innovation) (see Figures 3-4). One important finding of this cross-cultural comparison is the lack of sufficient educational activities promoting active citizenship as well as responsible research and innovation in all of the countries involved. This finding highlights the importance of the PARRISE project and the necessity to introduce SSIBL-based educational activities to promote the goals of responsible research and innovation in Europe.