Taking IBSE into secondary education

IBSE reports

Gail Bromley, kew@inquirebotany.org | 09/01/12 | London

What is meant by IBSE and why is it important that it is implemented in secondary as well as in primary schools? What changes may be needed in secondary science education if all students are to have the benefits of learning through inquiry, what are the challenges in making these changes and how these challenges can begin to be addressed? Find out how education researchers and science teachers and educators joined their expertise and experience to discuss these issues during the International conference: 'Taking IBSE into secondary education' held at York, UK in October 2010.

This conference was convened to discuss the many issues involved in beginning or extending the use of Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) in the secondary school. In many countries IBSE is being implemented in a proportion of primary schools (schools for children up to the age of 11/12). In some cases this has resulted from projects initiated through the Inter Academy Panel (IAP) science education programme which has been promoting inquiry-based teaching and learning in primary schools since 2004. Other initiatives pre-dated the IAP programme and have provided materials, training and experience to support developments in other countries.

One of the reasons for extending IBSE into secondary schools is to provide some continuity in the experience of students as they move through school. There are many other good reasons for this extension, however, which were expounded in the conference. Equally there are many challenges to be met in making the necessary changes in secondary school science practice. These were well articulated in the conference and evident in the brief accounts of the situation and of on-going work in 12 of the 38 countries represented at the conference, which are to be found in the conference report.

The background paper prepared for the conference is also available on-line.

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