Presentation of the University of Trnava

The Faculty of Education of Trnava University is currently known as the most prestigious pedagogical institute for pregradual teacher education in Slovakia and a well-known institute aiming at a meaningful implementation of innovations into the educational system (not only via pre-service education but mainly via its cooperation with the National Institute of Pedagogy – responsible for continuing development, for the national curriculum and the whole educational system). For these reasons, the University of Trnava has a great impact on the way traditional science education will be changed. A great part of the University’s duties is aimed at research activities. Trnava University has a good background to encourage further development of IBSE all over Slovakia thanks to its long experience in constructive principles applied to science education in primary schools.

 

Previous experience in European projects:

At the international level, the University is involved in the project FAST (Foundational Approaches in Science Teaching; http://www.nsdc.org/midbook/foundation.pdf) and has a partnership with La main à la pâte (www.lamap.fr).  The Trnava University has been participating in the Pollen project (FP6) as an observing city. Currently, the Trnava University participates in the Fibonacci project (FP7) as a Reference Centre for dissemination of IBSE experience. The mentioned projects have been aimed at the development of inquiry-based science education in levels ISCED 0, ISCED 1 and ISCED 2.

 

Expertise in inquiry-based science education and continual professional development:

The University of Trnava (Faculty of Pedagogy) has been involved in IBSE development for about 17 years (especially by working in the projects mentioned above). Three departments of the Faculty of Education are now working on this topic (Department of Preschool and Elementary Education, Department of Chemistry and Department of Biology) to cover wider implementation of IBSE into different levels of education. Currently at the Faculty, IBSE is fully implemented in all in-service courses in science education. Furthermore, the Trnava University provides accredited in-service teacher professional development course aimed at IBSE implementation into teaching practice in level ISCED 0, 1 and 2. Up to 150 teachers have already graduated and new teachers are still applying for the course. It means that the system of CPD in Slovakia helps the dissemination of IBSE a lot.

 

IBSME successfully implemented in a large number of CPD sessions:

After a local implementation, the University of Trnava is now contributing to a larger dissemination of IBSME to different regions of Slovakia and towards a renewal of the Slovakian curricula based on IBSE. This new curriculum has been valid since September 2008 and has been already modified in March 2011 following the gained IBSE experience. Through seminars, conferences and professional development sessions, the University of Trnava contributes to an intense dissemination of IBSE ideas in Slovakia.

 

Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development:

In order to ensure sustainable future, pupils at all levels need to accept responsibility for their actions and commit themselves to creating positive social and environmental change. Trnava University wants to advance the field of sustainable development through a series of topics and activities implemented in our CPD programme across ISCED 0, ISCED 1 and ISCED 2A. Members of our team are experts in environmental science, chemistry and biology field.

 

Role of the organisation in the SUSTAIN Network:

The Trnava University will participate in one of three topic groups linking IBSE and ESD and collaborate with other CPD provider coordinators and teacher educators to develop teaching and training tools, European workshops and handbooks on the chosen topic.

The Trnava University will also co-organise, with the European coordination team, one of the three European workshops, which will be held in Slovakia, to present and disseminate the work done by the specific topic group on one of the three chosen topics linking IBSE and ESD.

Project partners