The Botanic Garden of Moscow State University (known as “Aptekarskiy Ogorod”) has launched a pilot skills enhancement course for Russian teachers on Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE). The course has been developed as part of the European Union’s INQUIRE project and is designed to introduce teachers to IBSE techniques currently being adopted across the EU. For the course participants these techniques are quite new, though many of them are highly experienced teachers and have spent years developing research activities in the classroom.
The course showcases some of the most effective approaches to garden-based learning in Russia and other countries participating in the INQUIRE project, to encourage study and discussion of plant diversity, the impact of climate on plants, and climate change issues. This has generated a lively discussion amongst the teachers of how these resources can be incorporated in the Russian school curriculum and how best to design science lessons to stimulate interest in research work and make teaching more efficient.
MSU’s INQUIRE course comprises a total of 72 hours of study, subdivided into formal sessions and homework. The participants are teachers of biology and geography, primary school teachers and biology educators, many of whom are involved in extra-curricular education as well as teaching in schools. Also taking part are fellow garden educators from the Botanic Garden of Tver State University, who have offered to hold one of the sessions in their own facilities, 150 km north of Moscow.
Right from the start the atmosphere has been informal and lively, enabling the teachers and garden specialists to extract maximum value and work together on tailoring the INQUIRE course to the Russian environment. A suggestion to run a workshop to mark the completion of the pilot course was enthusiastically supported and the event has already been scheduled for 19th May 2012. Everyone is welcome to attend, including our foreign colleagues. To register an interest or find out more, please contact us at email@example.com.