Several studies, such as the SAS and ROSE studies, as well as every-day experience of many science teachers sug- gest a ‘disconnect’ between the tenants of traditional, formal science teaching and contemporary youth culture. Clearly formal science teaching fails to stimulate the interest in science and technology among wider groups of youth. This has led to numerous proposals on how to improve science teaching at school and how to make it more attractive to pupils. Suggestions include the involvement of extra-curricular activities, e.g. in science centres, engagement by the media and by the scientific community itself. However, while functioning well on an individual basis, many of these proposals are hard to implement in a formal way and on a large scale because of  ‘systemic’ or institutional barriers. This paper  describes a practical approach, led by the European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (in the EIROforum partnership), to foster innovative science teaching in a bottom-up approach across the European Union, while trying to embed this in a larger framework involving education administrators and policy-makers.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science on stage – towards a rejuvenated science teaching in Europe

Claus Madsen   ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany

Several studies, such as the SAS and ROSE studies, as well as every-day experience of many science teachers sug- gest a ‘disconnect’ between the tenants of traditional, formal science teaching and contemporary youth culture. Clearly formal science teaching fails to stimulate the interest in science and technology among wider groups of youth. This has led to numerous proposals on how to improve science teaching at school and how to make it more attractive to pupils. Suggestions include the involvement of extra-curricular activities, e.g. in science centres, engagement by the media and by the scientific community itself. However, while functioning well on an individual basis, many of these proposals are hard to implement in a formal way and on a large scale because of  ‘systemic’ or institutional barriers. This paper  describes a practical approach, led by the European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (in the EIROforum partnership), to foster innovative science teaching in a bottom-up approach across the European Union, while trying to embed this in a larger framework involving education administrators and policy-makers.

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