Learners as initiators through inquiry based science education – Experiences from the European project ESTABLISH


  • Eilish McLoughlin CASTeL, Dublin City University
  • Odilla Finlayson CASTeL, Dublin City University
  • Sarah Brady CASTeL, Dublin City University


Inquiry, science education, teacher education, Industrial Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Content Knowledge


Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) has been the focus of many national and international programmes and projects in recent years as these teaching methods have been suggested as a way to encourage and motivate students in science. The pan-European FP7-funded project ESTABLISH collaboration has led to the development of the project’s teaching and learning materials as well as educational supports for both in-service and pre-service teachers designed to promote the use of inquiry-based approaches at second level.  In particular ESTABLISH aims to create authentic learning environments for science education through industry engagement to share contexts and problems that can be tackled in the classroom.  This paper will share the approach adopted across 11 countries to engage second level students as initiators and innovators through inquiry-based learning.  In addition, this approach has been adopted with third level students (pre-service teachers) by facilitating these teachers to gain experience in inquiry, and gain confidence in developing their own teaching practices and incorporating industrial engagement into their classroom practices.






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