IBSE techniques


Asking pupils to carry out projects enables them to decide on their own learning activities and choose what resources they need to complete them.  Following a plenary session, pupils can be encouraged to organize themselves into groups so they can work together to find things out, such as the germination and growth of plants, and create a finished product of their choice, such as a PowerPoint presentation or a poster. Different groups can take responsibility for researching a particular strand of a topic, which they report back to the class.

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Plenary Sessions

Through dialogue, pupils can illustrate what they have learned during a lesson or series of lessons.  By producing narratives, arguments, explanations, interpretations, or analyses, pupils can offer evidence of critical thinking or problem-solving.  The teacher listens and probes for evidence of achievement, for example responses that synthesize relevant information and apply it to a new situation. This is similar to Think Aloud Protocols & Interviews (Informal & Formal/Structured) which involve pupils thinking aloud as they perform an activity. Pupils are asked to say whatever they are looking at, thinking, doing and feeling as they go about their task. This enables teachers to see first-hand the process the pupil selects to perform an activity.  Thinking about thinking and talking about thinking is described as metacognition. It is through this process that learners start to gain insight into their own and others’ thinking and learning.

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Concept Maps

Concept maps are visual representations of links between ideas or concepts established during the course of a learning activity. Concepts are given by teachers or named by pupils themselves. Pupils enclose the concepts and ideas within circles and boxes and connect them using arrows and words. Arrows show which way to read the links and words explain the relationship between the concepts.  Not only can concept maps be used as a learning tool, they can also be used for evaluation as they help teachers identify both valid and invalid ideas held by students.

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16/10/13 | London

Climate change is happening- The IPCC’s fifth report

IPCC report published in September reveals that, due to human activity, average global temperatures are at their highest for 1400 years. It is already affecting the planet and it's only going to get worse. With the report suffering backlash from still unconvinced critics, how are the public to know what to believe?



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Go to our resource section for plenty of ideas on how to teach IBSE. We’ve searched through many books, education packs and websites to find resources relevant for teaching in botanic gardens and other informal education settings.

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17/11/15 | Coimbra

Coimbra team publishes chapter in IBSE book

Members of the portuguese team who led INQUIRE project on the Botanical Garden of Coimbra University published the chapter "Advantages of Science Education Outdoors through IBSE Methodology" in IBSE book.


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case study edinbrugh

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