Successful first Partners Meeting

INQUIRE project meetings

Julia, bgci@inquirebotany.org | 14/05/11 | West Sussex, UK

The Millennium Seed Bank provided a stunning location for the first Partners Meeting from 3-4 May. 33 participants turned up for a stimulating and intense couple of days. During the morning of the first day, Suzanne Kapelari (LFU) gave a presentation about the different approaches to inquiry based science education, demonstrating that IBSE is a broad church. The aim of the project is to develop a shared understanding of IBSE and not to be prescriptive. However, it was noted that INQUIRE Partners need to develop their thinking in this field in order to define what the meaning of IBSE is in their context. Partners also presented the models for their INQUIRE course which they will begin implementing in September. After lunch, the session focussed on evaluation, looking at how Partners intend to evaluate their INQUIRE courses. A range of methods was proposed and Partners identified several they would like training in.

To kick off the second day, Christine Newton (Kew) presented an activity they use with school children. The activity involved children carrying out an aseptic technique to clone a cauliflower. A discussion was held about how the activity could focus more on IBSE. Following this, all Partners presented a lesson plan they considered suitable for their INQUIRE course. In smaller groups, Participants were encouraged to question the underlying pedagogy and examine how it could focus more on IBSE. From this session, Partners identified the type of training they required during the train the trainers course, planned for in June in Obergurgl. For the final session of the day, BGCI presented the draft INQUIRE logos and wireframes for the website.

For the final evening of the meeting, Partners were invited to relax with games on the lawn in front of the House, followed by a barbeque and a quiz designed to tax Partners’ European knowledge.

The following day, a half day training session was run by the Kew team.

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