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Improving Teacher Education in Mathematics and Science
Start date: Jan 1, 2009,

Numerous social, cultural, economic and technological changes in society place newdemands on the teaching profession. These demands not only create the need todevelop new learning environments and approaches to teaching, but also require a highdegree of teachers professionalism. All this suggests the necessity of improving thequality of teaching and teacher education in Science and Mathematics. On the otherhand, according to PISA results, young people demonstrate a low achievement andinterest in science and technical subjects. Why is this? The recent report produced by ateam for the EU Directorate General on Research, Science, Economy and Societyargued that a ‘reversal of school science-teaching pedagogy from mainly deductive toinquiry-based methods’ was more likely to increase students’ interest and attainmentlevels while at the same time stimulating teacher motivation. Moreover, the NuffieldFoundation’s report on Science Education in Europe suggests a reinvention of scienceeducation: to consider how it can be made fit for the modern world and how it can meetthe needs of ALL students. The central objective of the ITEMS project is thedevelopment of a framework aimed at improving the competencies of science andmathematics teachers and, consequently, increasing the students attainment andinterest in these areas. In order to achieve this the following specific objectives aredefined:To design and develop online modules (Integrated Teaching Elearning Modules,ITEMs) for secondary school students in Science and Mathematics using a new modelof course production based in the packing of Learning Objects in a Moodle format;To organise a set of Training Teachers Courses (TTC) aimed at familiarising teachers inthe management of the ITEMs in a classroom environment using an on-line/blendedapproach;To establish a joint infrastructure in order to facilitate sustainable accessibility to theITEMS approach to schools as well as the exchange of scientific information;To monitor the dissemination, the impact measurements and the quality assessment ofthe project within an Open Access environment.The ITEMS project partnership includes public institutions from four different countries.Two teacher training institutions, CEFIRE from Spain and Junior Science ServiceSupport from Ireland and two High Schools, Gimnazija Poljane from Slovenia andGymnasium Isernhagen from Germany. The project also relies on the cooperation ofEuropean Schoolnet.
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