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Digital support for Inquiry, Collaboration, and Reflection on Socio-Scientific Debates (CoReflect)
Start date: Mar 1, 2008, End date: Feb 28, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Citizens are increasingly being asked to deal with socio-scientific issues and make informed decisions on the basis of scientific data. At the same time, there is disconcert with the current status of science education, a disconcert that relates to issues such as student motivation, educational curricula, existing tools, as well as how to best support teachers in adopting new learning and teaching practices. There is a growing interest in university-school-educational authority partnerships developing web-based science inquiry environments as one way of addressing these challenges. Such environments can couple data-rich scientific rigor with the flexibility and modifiability that is needed for widespread adoption and use. CoReflect proposes to develop a European-wide network of Local Working Groups (LWG), involving university researchers, practising teachers and educational authority administrators. These LWGs will develop web-based, inquiry learning environments and accompanying materials on data-rich, socio-scientific debates (e.g. global warming). The LWGs will pair up, and together they will develop two web-based learning environments first in English and then in their national language. During Knowledge Sharing Workshops, they will decide on a common research and design framework. Following a series of peer-review activities, each LWG will adopt and implement their two learning environments. Each LWG will conduct research to systematically investigate specific aspects (e.g. student motivation) of the classroom implementation of the web-based inquiry learning environments, by collecting comparable qualitative and quantitative data. An existing web-based learning and teaching platform, STOCHASMOS, will be used to develop and host the inquiry learning environments. The platform was developed with national support and a Marie Curie action, is publicly accessible and offers specific tools for designing student scaffolds for reflection and collaboration.
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