Europe wide schools struggle; students are neither interested in the assignments, nor motivated by the traditional methods and materials. According to recent PISA studies a change in science education in many European countries is needed. This project strives to provide innovative education methods in science and social studies.
Studies show that there is an increased desire for inquiry-based and project-based learning. The former is fundamental for the development of higher order thinking skills. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information or new understandings indicates a high level of thinking. Using projects as a method within inquiry-based learning students participate from the very beginning; planning to project assessment, playing seminal roles in the entire process. This degree of involvement motivates students to be more precise, interested and to take responsibility for, or ownership of their, studies. This results in increased self-esteem and improved academic achievement. In the latter students learn how to work in groups, take on various roles within the group, share tasks, manage time better and take individual responsibility. The long term goal is to create IBL and PBL cross-culture tasks which can be implemented in every school.
It is also apparent that students spend less time outdoors, they know little about the food they eat, where it comes from, how it grows, etc, in fact many only see vegetables in the supermarket. However, they are interested in knowing more.
Furthermore, two good practices that can be implemented at the institutional level and can also be expanded to the regional or even international level will be created. Good Practice – Gardening: Culture, Culture plant in society, history and the arts and Good Practice – Gardening: Science, Growing culture plants in school gardens, carrying out various scientific examinations.
The final product of the entire three year project can be read here. This is a culimination of all the work carried out and documented by the participating students. Inquiry Based Learning works. You get them interested, let them work, they do it to the end!