Inquiry Based Science Education in ECO Member Countries

Basic knowledge in science as well as up – to-date technical know-how and innovativeness are indispensible for countries aspiring to be part of ever growing global competition. Sufficient understanding of scientific theories and principles is requisite for the needs at the work place and in daily lives in order to fully gain the many benefits that science has to offer. Thus a good foundation in science among students serves as the basis for scientific literacy, promotes better understanding of the environment and the world as well as the preparation of future scientists and technocrats.

Many developing countries are faced with basic issues in science education such as the shortage of qualified science teachers, lack of facilities including laboratories and equipment and poor methods of delivery in the teaching of science subjects which tend to be teacher centred and prescriptive thus leaving little opportunity for children for investigation and discovery leading to disinterest in the subject.

Concerned with these problems several countries have now embarked upon efforts together at the renewal of teaching science as early as at the preschool level. Science requires a teaching approach in which pupils are required to be actively engaged in carrying out inquiry and discovery and the use of evidence to formulate hypotheses and theories.

Learning by doing is based on personal investigation that helps pupils to develop cognitive processes as well as the sense of curiosity and creativity. Inquiry based activities allow pupils acquire new communication skills, through discussions in the classroom and with the teacher. Instead of the usual memorization and concentration of scientific concepts and formulas, IBSE insists on the appropriation of knowledge through individual investigation and questioning attitude leading the pupils to learn by experimenting in partnership with the teacher. Hence, the use of the hands and the brain lends itself as an appropriate teaching and learning strategy for science.

Considering the importance of science teaching at schools, ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) has formulated a program of capacity building of member states to gain and acquire technical support with reference to IBSE. It is pertinent to mention that the Foundation during the last two years has developed a good collaboration with La main a la pate Foundation France, the International Science, Technology and Innovation Center for South–South Cooperation under the auspices of UNESCO (ISTIC) Kuala Lumpur, the Science Education Program (SEP) of Inter-Academy Partnership (IAP)- a global network of 130 academies of sciences, engineering and medical and Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Thereby, the Foundation with the support of above mentioned collaborators took an initiative to launch IBSE in ECO member states and organized a Capacity Building workshop in collaboration with Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Kazakhstan in Astana on 22-25 June, 2015. The workshop was participated and contributed by 19 scientists, educationists, policy makers and global IBSE leaders from eight countries of ECO and above mentioned international institutions and 59 young teachers and researchers from Kazakhstan.

ECOSF is planning to organize National level Capacity Building Workshops on Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE)- La main a la pate in Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and Kazakhstan/Kyrgyz Republic with the collaboration of the their respective member states and international partners.

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“LASER i3” refers to a study conducted by evaluators from the Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) at the University of Memphis on student performance at schools implementing the LASER model. They found that the inquiry-based science promoted by the LASER model improved achievement not only in science, but also in reading and math. ... read more

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As an initiative of ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF), a capacity building workshop on Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) was jointly organized by ECOSF and the Committee of Science under the Ministry of Education and Science, Government of Republic of Kazakhstan on 22-25 June, 2015 in collaboration with La main a la pate Foundation France, the Embassy of France in Kazakhstan, the International Science, Technology and Innovation Center for South–South Cooperation under the auspices of UNESCO (ISTIC) Kuala Lumpur and the Inter-Academy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP). ... read more

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