Ministry of Education and McGill team up to create novel teaching tools
Grade and high school children enrolled in English institutions across Quebec are about to learn just how much fun science can be. McGill University researchers, in collaboration with Quebec's Ministry of Education, have teamed up to design an improved backbone for the province's science curriculum: new teaching manuals.
Grade and high school children enrolled in English institutions across Quebec are about to learn just how much fun science can be. McGill University researchers, in collaboration with Quebec's Ministry of Education, have teamed up to design an improved backbone for the province's science curriculum -- new teaching manuals.
The novel tools have been designed to provide students with more hands-on learning. Details concerning the new guidebooks, created through input between various partners and officially titled Project Collaboration, will be announced at a media briefing next week:
When: June 25, 11:45 am
Where: John Rennie High School, 501 boul. St-Jean, Pointe-Claire
Project Collaboration began three years ago, thanks to a $670,000 grant from the Lucent Technologies Foundation. Dr Brian Alters, director of McGill's Evolution Education Research Centre, launched and led the initiative, in partnership with the Ministère de l'Éducation du Québec (MEQ), the Science Action Plan Committee (SAPCO), the Learning Materials Centre and nine of Quebec English school boards representing over 80,000 students.
Researchers were divided into multiple teams of five - consisting of three teachers, one science graduate student and one education graduate student. Teams met face to face at McGill labs on a weekly basis to facilitate the development of hands-on science activities that will now be practiced in classrooms across the province. A total of 15,000 hours works of experiments were conducted to find the most innovative ways to excite kids about everything from ecology to electricity.
The result? Three new science-teaching booklets are now available for science educators:
- Material World - Simple Machines and Inventions
- Earth and Space - Water and Weather
- Living Things - Environment and Plants
In addition, an extensive book (1406 pages) containing initial draft activities from the three-year project is offered free to the first 175 schools that order the series. The fresh resources will be introduced at a conference for elementary and secondary teachers called Building Curriculum Links.
"Our hope is that the introduction of these new resources will improve the teaching of science, from kindergarten through high school, in ways that will stimulate students," says Dr Alters, who received the 2003 Distinguished Teaching Award from McGill's Faculty of Education and has been known teach classes out of an aquarium or while donning a guerilla suit.