New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Linking Environmental Research Programs and Teaching in a Higher Technological Education Institute

Vayos Karayannis, Technological Education Institute of Western Macedonia - GREECE Department of Environmental Engineering (Greece)

Evangelia Lakioti, Technological Education Institute of Western Macedonia - GREECE Department of Environmental Engineering (Greece)

Asimina Domopoulou, Technological Education Institute of Western Macedonia - GREECE Department of Environmental Engineering (Greece)


The development of a strong relationship between scientific research and teaching in higher technological education, as complementary learning procedures rather than separate components, is increasingly considered a particularly valid approach to strengthen research activities, to qualify academic teaching for innovation and entrepreneurship, and, especially, to enhance students’ understanding and motivation. In the present work, a case study is presented on the linkage of an environmental research program with academic teaching in a Higher Technological Education Institute (of Western Macedonia, Greece). The undergraduate students of the Environmental Engineering Dept. are progressively introduced during the courses to recent research progress and critical thinking, via the integration of continuously renewed research published in peer-reviewed journals into the educational procedure. They were familiarized, in particular, during the courses with a research program ("ARCHIMEDES III") taking place in the Department on safe management, recycling and valorization of industrial solid wastes into value-added ceramic products. Their awareness regarding the investigation of new applications of this category was recorded and evaluated using an appropriate questionnaire. In order to develop a meaningful nexus between research aims and course concepts, the experimental procedure was fully demonstrated to the students during relevant laboratory courses, and resulting research findings were broadly discussed in the classroom. Moreover, some students carried out their undergraduate thesis on scientific topics in close relation with this research project goals, assisting the research team members in conducting part of the experiments, thus supporting their thesis. Students' feedback reflects the success of transferring learning community values and strategies to increase the benefit for student participation and learning in higher technological education, while also contributing to widen information, publicity and dissemination of the research program activities and results to the society. Bringing research and real applications in academic teaching appears a challenge that can further enlarge the development of research-based curricula, leading teachers and students to work together towards collaborative learning, for enhancing the quality and outcomes both of the research endeavor and the learning experience, this being a promising perspective for higher technological education.

Acknowledgements: This research has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund – ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) - Research Funding Program ARCHIMEDES III: Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund.

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