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Science Fictions: Inquiries into the future of science education
(The SF conference)
Glasgow, Scotland, October 1314/15 2010.
The many imagined worlds of Science Fiction provide the inspiration for the title of this conference, and remind us that prediction is dangerous but complacency is worse.
Recent European Union initiatives in science education have focused on inquiry-based Science teaching (IBST) as the way forward.  The widespread adoption of IBST is intended to address both shortfalls in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, mathematics) labour force and the perceived need for more scientific literacy in the general population.
The SF conference aims to move beyond the current paradigm, using knowledge from several major projects in this area, and the expertise of thinkers from inside and outside the science education field.  It will provide stimulating debate rather than presentational rhetoric. The objective of the conference is to produce a consensus report on the way forward for science education in Europe, using the experience, knowledge and imagination of conference participants. We will use group discussion, video diaries and writing on walls to capture the ideas from the conference.
The SF conference represents the mid-point in the S-TEAM (Science-Teacher Education Advanced Methods project, which is promoting advanced methods in science teacher education across Europe.  Other current projects at the conference will include ESTABLISH, Primas and Fibonacci. We will have representatives from the Directorates of Research and Education & Culture in Brussels, policymakers  and experienced teachers from the countries collaborating in S-TEAM and researchers from institutions at the cutting edge of science education.
Provisional Conference Programme
13 October: Talking Projects
0830-0930    Registration and coffee
0930-1030    Welcome and Introduction to Glasgow, conference overview
1030-1100     Coffee
1100-1300    Market place for European and national projects
1300-1430     Buffet lunch
1430-1730    Market place continues
1700-1800    Guided walk in city centre
1830-        Coach leaves for Glasgow Science Centre
1900-2200    Reception and buffet supper, Glasgow Science Centre
14th October: Talking Science Education Futures
0900-0930    Welcome and introduction
0930-1100    Scene one: the state of science education now. Panel and group discussion led by... and including Jarl Bengtsson (OECD), Andrew Crumey (University of Newcastle) Rick Duschl (Penn State University), Doris Jorde (University of Oslo), Eilish McLoughlin (Dublin City University), Riel Miller (Xperidox)
1100-1130    Coffee
1130-1300     Group discussion continues
1300-1430    Lunch
1430-1700    Scene two: the future of science education  - discussion and reporting from         groups
1700-1800    Guided walk in city centre
1900-2200    Reception and buffet, City Chambers
15 October
0900-1030     Teacher development for future science education: the way forward part 1
1030-1100    Coffee
1100-1300    Teacher development for future science education: the way forward part 2,         and closing plenary session
1300-1400    Lunch
1400-1800    S-TEAM General Assembly
2000-late    S-TEAM dinner
There will also be a separate workshop event for teachers on 15/16 October, in parallel with the conference.
Contacts: For general information, and to register for the conference and book a hotel, click on the link below:
For specific enquiries, contact Peter Gray

The conference is intended to bring together policymakers and projects in the area of inquiry-based science education.
The event is also important for us since the EC will be conducting an internal review of S-TEAM at that time, and will therefore want the event to be a success. We will have finished products at that time and will want to advertise them.
At this stage a draft programme is being compiled by the organising committee.  We are looking for suggestions for
1) Panel members for a session looking at "inquiry in practice, inquiry in policy"
2) A High-profile speaker, probably a politician or high-level official from the EC

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