Inspiring young people: the challenges of MST


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Inspiring young people: the challenges of MST

  1. 1. eminent 2008 Rome 4-5 December 2008 Inspiring young people: the challenges of Maths, Science and Technology Maruja Gutiérrez Díaz Head of Unit Creativity and Innovation DG Education and Culture
  2. 2. MST: a priority EU objective for education <ul><li>Common objectives for EU education systems (2001) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Working group 2001-2004 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cluster 2005 onwards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One of five European education benchmarks (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>European Framework of Key Competences (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Rocard Report (2007) + FP7 support (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Improving competences for the 21st Century: An Agenda for European Cooperation on Schools COM(2008)425 </li></ul><ul><li>Policy cooperation in education: a new strategic framework (scheduled for Dec 2008) </li></ul>
  3. 3. MST benchmark: good progress
  4. 4. Yet… <ul><li>PISA 2006 shows no improvement and in some cases decline in maths and science tests </li></ul><ul><li>A recent Eurobarometer shows no great interest from young people in MST careers </li></ul><ul><li>European companies claim for more and better prepared graduates in MST </li></ul><ul><li>There is also a decreasing interest to become a science teacher </li></ul><ul><li>The gender balance stays remarkably skewed at all levels (teachers, students, MST jobs) </li></ul>
  5. 5. MST cluster <ul><li>The MST Cluster is composed of 13 countries (CY, DE, DK, FR, IS, LV, MT, NL, NO, PT, SE, SK and UK) </li></ul><ul><li>The MST Cluster has been set up to follow the European MST benchmark and to improve participation in MST studies and careers, especially regarding women (E&T 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>It also contributes to the Barcelona objective of reaching 3% of GDP in research. </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover MST is one of the eight Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Peer learning: national strategies <ul><li>The Delta Plan Science and Technology (NL) </li></ul><ul><li>Action Plan for the promotion of mathematics education (SE) </li></ul><ul><li>Renovation in science teaching: an inquiry based approach (FR) </li></ul><ul><li>MST strategy: “A joint promotion of MST” (NO) Action for increased recruitment and better quality instruction in MST </li></ul><ul><li>Raising interest in science and awareness of its for society: Ciencia Viva (PT) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Peer-learning: successful projects <ul><li>Jet-Net: PPP to stimulate interest in MSTcareers among high schools students (NL) </li></ul><ul><li>INTIZE initiative: Engineering students mentoring secondary school pupils (SE) </li></ul><ul><li>MECHATRONICS project : engineering students helping Vet pupils (FR) </li></ul><ul><li>ROSE research study (NO) </li></ul><ul><li>WiTEC (Women in Science, Engineering and Technology in European Countries) </li></ul><ul><li>… .. and many more, available at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  8. 8. MST as a key competence /1 <ul><li>A. Mathematical competence is the ability to develop and apply mathematical thinking in order to solve a range of problems in everyday situations. Building on a sound mastery of numeracy, the emphasis is on process and activity, as well as knowledge. Mathematical competence involves, to different degrees, the ability and willingness to use mathematical modes of thought (logical and spatial thinking) and presentation (formulas, models, constructs, graphs, charts). </li></ul>
  9. 9. MST as a key competence /2 <ul><li>B. Competence in science refers to the ability and willingness to use the body of knowledge and methodology employed to explain the natural world, in order to identify questions and to draw evidence-based conclusions. Competence in technology is viewed as the application of that knowledge and methodology in response to perceived human wants or needs. Competence in science and technology involves an understanding of the changes caused by human activity and responsibility as an individual citizen. </li></ul>
  10. 10. MST as a key competence /3 <ul><li>These Competences include an attitude of critical appreciation and curiosity, an interest in ethical issues and respect for both safety and sustainability, in particular as regards scientific and technological progress in relation to oneself, family, community and global issues. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Digital competence /1 <ul><li>Definition: Digital competence involves the confident and critical use of Information Society Technology (IST) for work, leisure and communication. It is underpinned by basic skills in ICT: the use of computers to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information, and to communicate and participate in collaborative networks via the Internet. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Digital competence /2 <ul><li>Digital competence requires a sound understanding and knowledge of the nature, role and opportunities of IST in everyday contexts: in personal and social life as well as at work. </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals should also understand how IST can support creativity and innovation, and be aware of issues around the validity and reliability of information available and of the legal and ethical principles involved in the interactive use of IST. </li></ul><ul><li>An interest in engaging in communities and networks for cultural, social and/or professional purposes also supports this competence. </li></ul>
  13. 13. MST Cluster conclusions on numeracy <ul><li>As far as numeracy skills are concerned, the Cluster ‘Maths, Science and Technology’ has concluded that 'proficiency in mathematics is today not mainly an affair about counting correctly; it is a general competence including problem solving and modelling, concept understanding, reasoning and communication, procedural efficiency, and appreciation of the role of mathematics in history, science, culture, work and society. A broad mathematical knowledge is in this aspect a part of a great cultural heritage, essential for both personal and societal self-esteem, creativity and growth </li></ul><ul><li>Bengt Johansson NCME, University of Gothenburg 2007 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Nuffield Foundation conclusions on science education <ul><li>The Nuffield Foundation emphasises that it is crucial that science education offer value for all and not only for future scientists. </li></ul><ul><li>For this reason the goal of science education must be first and foremost, to offer an education that develops students' understanding both of the canon of scientific knowledge and how science functions </li></ul><ul><li>Science education in Europe: Critical reflections. </li></ul><ul><li>A report to the Nuffield Foundation (Jan. 2008), p.7 . </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Rocard Report /1 <ul><li>The European Commission has tasked this group of experts to examine a crosssection of on-going initiatives and to draw from them elements of know-how and good practice that could bring about a radical change in young people’s interest in science studies - and to identify the necessary pre-conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>The group has issued six recommendations: </li></ul>Science education now: a renewed pedagogy for the future of Europe, European Commission (2007)
  16. 16. The Rocard Report /2 <ul><li>Recommendation 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Because Europe’s future is at stake decision-makers must demand action on improving science education from the bodies responsible for implementing change at local, regional,national and European Union level . </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Improvements in science education should be brought about through new forms of pedagogy:the introduction of inquiry-based approaches in schools, actions for teachers training to IBSE,and the development of teachers’ networks should be actively promoted and supported. </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Specific attention should be given to raising the participation of girls in key school science subjects and to increasing their self-confidence in science. </li></ul>Science education now: a renewed pedagogy for the future of Europe European Commission (2007).
  17. 17. The Rocard Report /3 <ul><li>Recommendation 4: </li></ul><ul><li>Measures should be introduced to promote the participation of cities and the local community in the renewal of science education in collaborative actions at the European level aimed at accelerating the pace of change through the sharing of know-how. </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation 5: </li></ul><ul><li>The articulation between national activities and those funded at the European level must be improved and the opportunities for enhanced support through the instruments of the Framework Programme and the programmes in the area of education and culture to initiatives such as Pollen and Sinus-Transfer should be created. The necessary level of support offered under the Science in Society (SIS) part of FP7 is estimated to be around 60 million euros over the next 6 years . </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation 6: </li></ul><ul><li>A European Science Education Advisory Board involving representatives of all stakeholders,should be established and supported by the European Commission within the Science in Society framework. </li></ul>
  18. 18. FP7 Science in Society: answering to the Rocard Report <ul><li>A new budgetary line of 60 MEuro for the period 2008-2013 </li></ul><ul><li>A call for proposals for projects with a capacity to scale up in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>A call for tenders for a new communication and dissemination platform </li></ul><ul><li>Joint work with the MST cluster </li></ul>
  19. 19. MST: a case for partnerships <ul><li>Partnerships between business and education can provide a better understanding of each other’s needs and of MST jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>There are interesting examples in the context of Corporate Social Responsibility, and the Commission supports this line of work </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships between education and local and regional authorities can set a good framework for fostering the interest of young people in MST </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships with Science Museums and research institutions are also a very valuable contribution </li></ul>
  20. 20. Better science education: an urgent need <ul><li>Crucial challenges such as climate change or exploiting the potential of new technologies call for MST professionals, in Europe and elsewhere. </li></ul><ul><li>MST are key elements of any research policy </li></ul><ul><li>There are pressing requests from industry and from services, including public services </li></ul><ul><li>MST are a fundamental component of education </li></ul><ul><li>MST are a priority for all education programmes </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>¡Gracias por su atención! </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>