The goal of the SciTeach Center project is to create and support a sustainable, collaborative, network for primary school teacher professional development for teaching science in Luxembourg. In particular, we have worked to develop ways to use the insights gained in academic research for supporting teachers in the development of their educational praxis, particularly in primary school science.
The SciTeach Center team has developed a comprehensive in-service training program for science education, embedded in a research-driven professional development concept for primary school teachers. Through the project, we have developed opportunities for teachers that include professional development courses, teaching resources for loan, as well as collaborative research opportunities, all around the teaching and learning of science at the primary school level in particular. This is anchored in a resource center located in the Maison de Savoir in Belval, which houses and disseminates teaching materials for primary school science education. Materials are provided through the Science Teacher Resource Center for pre- and in-service teachers to borrow and use in their classrooms.
Courses are offered for pre- and in-service teachers, providing innovative pedagogical approaches for engaging young children in science, a particular focus of which targets strategies for working with culturally and linguistically diverse students.
The SciTeach Center project was initiated with three main objectives:
1) the development of a teacher professional development program,
2) the development of an accompanying science education resource center,
3) the establishment of a network to support the teaching of science at the elementary level.
Taken together, these three objectives set the foundation for the sustainable professional development of primary school teachers in science, with the overall goal of strengthening science teaching and learning in Luxembourgish primary schools and thus promoting science education to children, families, and teachers.
Embedded in this project is ongoing research to evaluate the effectiveness of the offerings as well as to support the continued evolution of the professional development program and accompanying resource center. At the center of the SciTeach Center project development has been the creation of a network of those working in the field of primary science education in Luxembourg, and the team has established several key collaborations with stakeholders including those working in informal education, teacher education, and science education.
The SciTeach Center hosts visiting scholars for short- and longer-term research exchanges, and the team collaborates in numerous international networks and projects.
The SciTeach Center initiatives have recently been enhanced through the FNR funded Sci2School project, which expands the offerings of the SciTeach Center through school-based professional development opportunities at several schools across the country.