Science Education

Education policies across Europe highlight the importance of the role science education plays in ensuring citizens have the requisite knowledge and skills to enable them to become ‘informed critical consumers of scientific knowledge”, according to the OECD. Today, society faces numerous global challenges, from climate change, pollution to malnourishment and hunger. Science is embedded in these challenges and science education has a crucial role in ensuring our students -future decision makers- have the necessary knowledge and skills to make sense of and address them.

For the past thirty years or so the focus of science education throughout Europe has moved from an emphasis on teaching and assessing science content towards the development of students’ scientific literacy. This shift in science education has led to an increase in the number of students leaving formal education with science qualifications.  However, this increase has not been reflected in the numbers pursing science-related careers. Europe faces a dearth of science – knowledgeable experts at all levels of society and the economy, as recent EU surveys show.

ALLEA Working Group Science Education

The ALLEA Science Education Working Group is committed to supporting the further progression of science education throughout Europe to ensure our students develop the necessary knowledge, skills and motivation to participate as active citizens and to pursue careers in science. Furthermore the science education group is committed to ensuring students experience a science education that is engaging and relevant to them and that ultimately results in students throughout Europe truly valuing science and caring for the environment in which they live.

Central themes of the group include:

  • Global Influences on Science Education
  • Development of students’ scientific literacy
  • Effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers
  • Climate Change Education
  • Education for Sustainable Development

Climate Change Education in Europe

The ALLEA Working Group Science Education is commencing work on climate education Initiatives in Europe. The aim of this survey is to gain an in-depth overview of existing climate education initiatives currently being implemented across Europe.

The resulting data will be analysed to identify common trends, gaps, strengths and weaknesses in relation to the content and pedagogical approaches to climate education in formal and non-formal education settings throughout Europe.

The results of this analysis will be used to develop evidence-based recommendations for policy and practice for progressing climate education in Europe.

The submission of responses is now closed.

In Memoriam

Professor Giancarlo Vecchio

It is with great sadness that we inform about the passing of long-standing member and immediate past chair of ALLEA’s Science Education Working Group, Professor Giancarlo Vecchio, who deceased on 1 October 2019 in Naples. Professor Vecchio, representing the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, has contributed to the activities in the Working Group over many years, and has been highly recognised by his colleagues as an engaged and knowledgeable promoter of science education whose experience and expertise was second to none. His efforts and engagement for science education in general, and for the work of ALLEA in this field in particular, give true testimony to his dedication towards the next generation, who he felt should benefit from science and research in the best possible way.

Professor Vecchio will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

Core Group Members of the Science Education Working Group

  • Cliona Murphy (Chair)  – Royal Irish Academy
  • Nils O Andersen – Royal Danish Academy
  • Maija Katariina Aksela  – Council of Finnish Academies
  • Benő Csapó – Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Maksym Galchenko– National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • Stefan Jokic – Institute of Nuclear Sciences – Belgrade
  • Ulrika Johansson – Science and Technology for All Programme (NTA) – Sweden
  • Lena Kjellen – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Pierre Lena – Académie des Sciences  (France; honorary chair),
  • Odile Macchi – Académie des Sciences (France; past chair),
  • David Rios – Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences
  • Petra Skiebe-Corrette, Free University Berlin (Germany)
  • Svein Sjoberg – Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

Other contributors

  • Gerd Bergman – Science and Technology for All Programme (NTA) – Sweden
  • Geoffrey Boulton – The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Maria Duca – Academy of Sciences of Moldova
  • Florin G. Filip – Romanian Academy
  • Stanislav Dovgiy – National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (alternate)
  • Athanasis Fokas – Academy of Athens
  • Ingolf Hertel – Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities (alternate)
  • Léo Houziaux – Académie Royale de Belgique
  • Guiseppe Macino – The National Academy of the Lincei
  • Miljenko Peric/Milosav Marjanovic – Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Bernhard Plunger – Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Stanko Popović – Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Dukagjin Pupovci – Kosova Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Gerhard Schaefer – German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • Perko Vukotic – Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Jan Zima / Jaroslav Pánek – Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (alternates)

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