University of Tartu Hosts 2010 World Conference on Science and Technology Education
From 28 June to 2 July, the University of Tartu Science Education Centreorganize the 2010 World Conference on Science and Technology Education. The conferencebroughtaround 200 experts of the field from 40 countries all over the world to Tartu.
The central theme of the world conferencewas science and technology literacy, which is regarded as one of the key factors in forming quick-thinking and innovative citizens and in completing the transition to a knowledge society.
The conference programme focused on three main topics:
a) research in science teaching and science learning, including curriculum development and interpretation of the findings of quantitative international studies;
b) the nature of current orientations in education policy, including the relationship between science, technology and natural sciences education, the validity of learning outcome assessment and regard to the professional development of teachers;
c) the sharing of good practice, context-based teaching, research-based approaches and learner relevance.
The conference programme included over ten keynote addresses and highlight presentations on the teaching of science and technology, delivered by internationally renowned researchers and experts. In addition, scores of papers were presented in specialised workshops focusing on aspects such as opportunities for the modernisation of teaching and for raising the motivation of learners.
The last day of the conference wasmarked by the adoption of a declaration on education policy, whichbrought together recommendations of the conference for promoting and modernising science education. “The declaration will be transmitted through the channels of UNESCO and ICASE also to countries that are not represented at the conference,“ explained the chief organiser of the conference, UT Professor of Science Education Miia Rannikmäe. “The recommendations will help governments to gain an outsider’s view of the development of their countries and thereby decrease the possibility that some nations will be left out of the global transfer of knowledge.“
Among the keynote and highlight speakers of the conferencewere the chief architect of the PISA International Student Assessment Programme Professor Rodger Bybee, Chief Coordinator of the NASA-funded Environmental Education Promotion Programme GLOBE Teresa Kennedy and Leader of the Helsinki University Centre of Excellence in Molecular and Integrative Neuroscience Research Professor Mart Saarmaa.
The conference was opened by the Estonian Minister for Education and Research Tõnis Lukas. Conference participants included representatives from UNESCO’s Paris office, the President of the International Council of Associations of Science and Technology Education (ICASE) and representatives of foreign embassies to Estonia. The conference was closed by Ene Ergma, Speaker of the Estonian Parliament.
The main organiser of the 2010 World Conference on Science and Technology Education was the Centre for Science Education of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Tartu, in cooperation with the ICASE, the University of Tallinn, the Tallinn University of Technology and the associations of Estonian science teachers. The organisers also received support from the Estonian Ministry of Research and Education, th Archimedes Foundation, the Enterprise Estonia Foundation, the mobile telephony and communication services provider EMT and the travel agency Kaleva Travel.
For more informationvisit http://www.icase2010.org
Prof. Miia Rannikmäe, Centre for Science Education, University of Tartu, e-mail miia.rannikmae [ät] ut.ee
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