The 2nd round of the PARRISE Cyprus TPD program concluded with a national, public conference, entitled “Responsible Research and Innovation in inquiry-based science learning: The role of education for promoting students’ active citizenship”. The conference took place at the Cyprus University of Technology on May 6th, 2017, from 8:30-13:30. The aim of the conference was to give the opportunity to the different science education stakeholders in Cyprus to learn about the PARRISE project and its philosophy, focusing on the PARRISE Cyprus teacher network activities in 2016-2017, and participate in a public discussion about science education in Cyprus.
More than 100 stakeholders responded positively to our invitation and attended the 2nd national PARRISE conference at Cyprus. Participants included policy-makers, academics, school administrators, science education teachers, parents and students. The conference started with welcoming addresses from the Rector of the Cyprus University of Technology, Professor Andreas Anayiotos, and the Chair of the Department of Communication & Internet Studies, Associate Professor Nikos Tsapatsoulis.The local coordinator of the PARRISE Cyprus project, Associate Professor Eleni Kyza, gave an introductory speech presenting the PARRISE Cyprus project. During her presentation, Dr. Kyza highlighted the main actions which were realized during the PARRISE 2016-17 TPD courses, focusing on:
- Promoting Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) through the Socio-Scientific Inquiry-Based Learning (SSIBL) approach
- Science teachers’ professional development for promoting teachers’ understanding of the SSIBL approach
- The design and implementation of innovative learning modules integrating the SSIBL approach for the promotion of students’ active citizenship and RRI attitudes.
A highlight of the program was the presentation of the SSIBL modules teachers had co-designed and implemented. In addition, students from primary and secondary education schools, who participated in the PARRISE implementations, shared their impressions for the PARRISE SSIBL modules.
During the event, seven posters, prepared by the participating students and teachers, were posted outside the auditorium allowing attendees to learn more about the classroom implementations and giving the opportunity to PARRISE teachers and students to present their work to everyone during the breaks.
The last part of the event consisted of a roundtable discussion, titled “The role of education in the context of Responsible Research and Innovation”. The roundtable discussants were the coordinators of the European programs “Ark of Inquiry” [Associate Professor at the University of Cyprus, Zacharias Zacharias] and Engage [Assistant Professor at the University of Nicosia, Maria Evagorou], and representatives from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus [Giorgos Yiallouridis, Inspector of Primary Education; Chrystalla Koukouma, Chemistry Education Inspector; Dr. AndreasHadjichambis, representative of the Biology Inspector]. The discussion was coordinated by Dr. Eleni A. Kyza. The event concluded with a public discussion allowing the audience to interact with the invited speakers by asking additional questions.