by Christine Knippels & Frans van Dam (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
The PARRISE project was presented in a plenary session and a stand at the recent Eminent conference in Barcelona, 19-20 November 2015. This Experts Meeting on “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Education and Life” is organised annually by the European Schoolnet (EUN). Over 250 European experts in science education discussed the status of the Scientix project, EU policy-makers shared their plans and delegates could network at the exhibition stands.
Especially relevant from the perspective of PARRISE is the recent advisory report “Science Education for Responsible Citizenship”. This report to the European Commission was presented in Barcelona by one of its authors, Yves Beernaert. The advisory panel recommends that science is taught from primary school on and that science should also be linked to subjects and disciplines other than STEM. The report promotes to link science with arts and humanities into the dialogue. In addition, involving the social sciences “helps us understand what works, what doesn’t work and how to improve the quality of life for everyone.”
Furthermore, the advisory panel wants to enhance collaboration “between formal, non-formal and informal educational providers, enterprise, industry and civil society.” This is “to ensure relevant and meaningful engagement of all societal actors with science and increase uptake of science studies and science-based careers to improve employability and competitiveness.”
The authors point out “that greater attention should be given to promoting Responsible Research and Innovation; and to enhance the quality of teaching, from induction through pre-service preparation and in-service professional development”, the core approach integrated in the PARRISE project.