The second African European Mediterranean Academies for Science Education (AEMASE) Conference (AEMASE) was held in Dakar, Senegal from the 12th to the 13th of October 2015 with the kind hospitality of the Académie des Sciences et Téchniques du Sénégal (ANSTS). ALLEA participated in the Conference via its Working Group on Science Education.
AEMASE is an intercontinental initiative of science academies in the geographical African-European-Mediterranean (AEM) area, a region that shares strong and ancient political and scientific links. At the origin of the idea of AEMASE lies the strong desire of several national Academies to help improve formal and informal science education (SE) as part of their mission. The partner institutions involved in this initiative are the French, Italian, Moroccan and Senegalese national Academies and the Egyptian Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
The Conference was organised into six Sessions. On the first day following the Opening Ceremony, Session n° 2 was dedicated to “The Role of Science Education in Development and Global View on Science Education Programmes”, Session n° 3 was dedicated to “National and International Projects and Programmes in Science Education”, and Session n° 4 to “Methods, Materials and Resources for Teacher Training and School SE Experiments”. On the second day, Session n° 5 was dedicated to “Research in SE and Assessment Methods” and Session n° 6 to “E-learning and SE/WEB Connection between Schools”. Keynote speeches were given on the first day by Prof. Ahmadou Lamine Ndiaye, who spoke about science education in Africa, Prof. Odile Macchi, who discussed science education in Europe, and Prof. Norma Nudelman, whose speech focussed on science education in Latin America. On the second day, Prof. Faouzia Charfi gave a keynote lecture on “The Scientific Way of Thinking”.
The Conference ended with the participants’ unanimous approval of the Dakar Declaration, which called on all countries in the AEM region to urgently implement and consolidate IBSE/STEM/SBC Education programmes and on Academies and Ministries of Education to re-elaborate science education programmes to include new ways of teaching and learning.
Excerpts from the report kindly provided by ALLEA Working Group Science Education Chair Professor Giancarlo Vecchio.