Promoting Inquiry Skills for a Curriculum for Excellence in Science for Stevenson College of Further Education

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


PISCES is a Continuing Professional Development module for teachers of science, which has been developed in Scotland with the support of the Science-Teacher Education Advanced Methods (S-TEAM) project. S-TEAM is a European-wide project involving 26 teacher education institutions in 15 countries, with a budget of over four million Euros, funded by the European Commission as part of its Science in Society programme. The S-TEAM project has been initiated in response to the European Union’s concerns about levels of scientific literacy and problems in the recruitment of students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. Just as inquiry-based science teaching and education is proposed by the EU as being an important way of changing the way STEM subjects are taught, so a Curriculum for Excellence recommends:‘young people to develop and practice a range of inquiry and investigative skills, scientific analytical thinking skills, and develop attitudes and attributes of a scientifically literate citizen’. Strathclyde University is a leading partner in S-TEAM. In collaboration with East Lothian Council’s Development Officer for CfE, the project has successfully run a pilot version of PISCES with a group of 8 East Lothian secondary science teachers and one primary teacher. The module resulted in successful ‘experiments in practice’ and an increased awareness of the benefits of inquiry-based teaching and learning. The module continues to be developed, on this occasion for delivery to lecturers in colleges of further education (FE) for the reproduction of programme outcomes with students of science who are undertaking introductory courses, National Qualifications, HNDs (Higher National Diplomas), BTECs and Degree Foundation courses. In Scotland, FE colleges offer teaching and learning to adults and young people who might have been excluded in the past. These learners have various goals that encompass personal development and fulfilment, progression to higher levels of education and entry into the employment market. The number of enrolments in Scottish colleges is approximately 500,000.
Period24 Jun 20111 Oct 2011
Event typeCourse