Taking Inquiry-Based Science Education into Secondary Education. A global Conference

Titre Taking Inquiry-Based Science Education into Secondary Education. A global Conference
IAP Science Education Program
Technical report
Publication date
01 November 2010
Acquisition date
18 February 2013
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IAP is a global network of science Academies. Launched in 1993, it counts 104 Academies in 2012 throughout the world. Since 2003, IAP has developed a science education program (SEP) under the guidance of Jorge Allende (Chile). 

The program holds a biennial conference to discuss fundamental issues related to the implementation of Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) in primary and secondary schools. 

The present document results from teh 2010 conference held in York (UK) with over 100 invited participants. 


This conference was convened to discuss the many issues involved in beginning or extending the use of Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) in the secondary school. In many countries IBSE is being implemented in a proportion of primary schools (schools for children up to the age of 11/12). In some cases this has resulted from projects initiated through the IAP science education programme which has been promoting inquiry-based teaching and learning in primary schools since 2004. Other initiatives pre-dated the IAP programme and have provided materials, training and experience to support developments in other countries. One of the reasons for extending IBSE into secondary schools is to provide some continuity in the experience of students as they move through school. There are many other good reasons for this extension, however, which were expounded in the conference. Equally there are many challenges to be met in making the necessary changes in secondary school science practice. These were well articulated in the conference and evident in the brief accounts of the situation and of on-going work in 12 of the 38 countries represented at the conference.

In preparation for the conference a background paper was produced, informed by a Eurolatinamerican workshop held in Santiago, Chile, in January 2010. This report builds on the background paper and begins in the same way, making clear what is meant by IBSE and why it is important that it is implemented in secondary as well as in primary schools. It then considers what changes may be needed in secondary science education if all students are to have the benefits of learning through inquiry, the challenges in making these changes and how these challenges can begin to be addressed. The final section presents the conclusions and recommendations agreed by the conference participants.

(Texte en ligne en anglais)