New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

The European INSTEM Network

Suzanne Kapelari, University of Vienna (Austria)

Katjy Maaß, University of Education, Freiburg (Germany)


INSTEM is a Comenius network (2012 – 2015), which brings together the experience and learning of a wide range of projects in European Science and Mathematics education and links research, practice and policy in a unique way. Its main goal is to promote inquiry based teaching, to gather innovative teaching methods and to raise students' interest in science as well as offering them careers information in STEM subjects, in order to respond to global challenges in teaching and gender imbalances in STEM education. The INSTEM project was developed from the idea that projects in STEM education should talk to each other and share their ideas. It grew out of the informal group ProCoNet (Project Coordinators‘ Network), which was formed in 2011. INSTEM and ProCoNet work closely together and provide a single channel to communicate with European Union directorates and other policymaking organisations. INSTEM also acts as an integrated provider of STEM education materials and techniques, based on the work of previous projects. It works with national teams on the implementation of good science and mathematics teaching, using inquiry as a starting point whilst being open to all innovative and effective approaches. INSTEM has developed two reports already. These are accessible on the project website: The INSTEM State of the Art Report is based on an analysis of EC funded inquiry-based learning (IBSE) educational innovation and provides insight into inquiry based teaching in Europe, gender issues, science career information and on the exploitation of project knowledge beyond the lifetime of projects. The INSTEM Synthesis Report is based on a review of documents supplied by 20+ of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education projects funded in FP7 and the LLP.

Tow international conferences and a serious of national workshop have been hosted by partner institutions in various partners countries. These events aim for bringing together various stakeholders in education such as researchers, practitioners and policy makers and to discuss lessons learned from EU funded Science and Mathematics Education initiatives. Strategies for how to implement this knowledge into the national educational system most successfully should be developed. Summaries about these events are also available on the project website (see above).

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