by Eran Zafrani, Rachel Cohen, & Anat Yarden (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel; WP4 coordinator)
One of the challenges discussed frequently among the WP4 team members is whether to introduce the SSIBL framework explicitly or implicitly during the TPDs that are carried out in the course of the PARRISE project. The WEIZMANN team at the Department of Science Teaching at the Weizmann Institute of Science, developed a model for the PARRISE TPD course in which during the first half of the course (two full days, 16 hours) the four pillars of the SSIBL framework (namely, CE, SSI, RRI, and IBSE) are continuously used but are not mentioned explicitly, while during the second half (2 full days, 16 hours) these four pillars are presented and used explicitly (Figure 1).
This TPD course was planned and conducted through a collaborative effort with a high school in Tel-Aviv, Gimnasya Herzelia, where students are cultivating the edible algae ‘Spirulina’ as a dietary supplement, aimed for the needs of under-developed countries.
The TPD course was composed of two parts: i) SSIBL implicit, and ii) SSIBL explicit, as follows:
First part of the course: SSIBL implicit (Days 1 and 2, Figure 1)
We began our TPD with lectures from experts on complex social issues, followed by a discussion about the role of education in dealing with such issues. With the aim of exposing teachers to the multifaceted nature of socio-scientific issues, teachers subsequently created controversy maps for a topic of their interest. The day ended with a lecture by the Gimnasya Herzelia students, speaking about their project.
In the second meeting of the TPD, participants experienced a one-day inquiry activity which permitted them to perform experiments in the context of the students’ socio-scientific Spirulina project. The activity culminated in a discussion regarding the impact of such projects on school science education.
Second part of the course: SSIBL explicit (Days 3 and 4, Figure 1)
On the third day of our TPD we introduced participants to the practical and theoretical elements of SSIBL. We began with a presentation about the PARRISE project and the SSIBL framework, including the four pillars and how they relate to each other. This marks the first time the teachers were provided with explicit details in relation to the theoretical thinking behind the PARRISE project. Later, a comprehensive and practical presentation about the SSIBL projects in Porto University was given by one of the WP4 team partners, Dr. Maria João Fonseca. By the end of the third meeting teachers were asked to prepare their own SSIBL project to be implemented in their classrooms.
We ended the TPD on the fourth day, at which the teachers presented their planned projects, with subsequent reflection and discussion sessions.
The implicit exposure of the teachers to the four pillars of SSIBL during the first two days of the TPD enabled them to experience SSIBL themselves as learners (teachers as learners). On the other hand, the explicit exposure to SSIBL during the 3rd and 4th day of the TPD enabled them to develop learning materials for their students (teachers as curriculum developers).