ESERA10 Summer School The 2010 ESERA Summer School for PhD students was held at the University of Udine in Italy from 25-31 July. It was organized by the local Research Unit in Physics Education (URDF) under the responsibility of Marisa Michelini.
The selection of the 50 students participating to the School started in January 2010. There was a call for applications on the ESERA website and 180 academics chosen by the International Scientific Committee of the School were involved in the analysis of the 100 synopses of the PhD students applying from 19 countries. The selection was carried out as follow: 13 criteria were established for evaluating the synopses. Each synopsis was sent to 2 referees (3 referees are involved in the case of evaluations where the two reviewers’ scores were not in close agreement); the total score per student was calculated; a threshold score (minimum score 63) and a country limit (maximum 14 students of the same Country) were established and the successful PhD student invited to participate.
A group of 18 academics from 9 countries were the International staff of the ESERA10 Summer School. Three observers monitored the activities and a group of 15 personnel of URDF and University of Udine supported the organization.
The ESERA10 programme included 4 general talks (GT), 5 Workshops (WS) and 7 Group Works (GW). The GTs were on: 1) Design based research as a framework for promoting research-informed adoptions of inquiry oriented science teaching (Costas Constantinou, Cyprus), 2) Content-specific research in science education (Hans Niedderer, Sweden), 3) Pedagogical content knowledge in science education: perspectives on and potential for science teacher development (Vanessa Kind, UK), 4) Researching science teaching and learning beyond the classroom (Justin Dillon, UK). The WSs involved participants in active work on the following aspects: 1) Using statistical methods and understanding quantitative studies: Regression analysis, Using SPSS, Misuse of basic data, Analyzing data structure by Principal Components Analysis, 2) Connecting your research with a theoretical framework: formulating research questions with the potential to make a theoretical contribution, 3) Strategies for analyzing qualitative data, 4) Writing and reviewing, 5) Designing teaching/learning activities for NOS.
For the 7 GWs the students were organized in small groups, each one composed of seven students and coordinated by two coaches (senior academics). In these GW the students presented and discussed their research projects and research works done with the preliminary results obtained. Each GW session (90 minutes) was focus on one student’s PhD study.
The research lines of participants are described by the following list:
- Science Learning focused on contents in a science area (15): Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics Education, interdisciplinary science education and environmental education;
- Science Teaching (e.g. the nature of teacher talk in the classroom) (8)
- Science Teacher Education (8)
- Cultural and social Issues. History, Philosophy. (7)
- Curriculum, Evaluation, and Assessment. (5)
- Science learning in different contexts. (4)
- ICT and computer Based learning. (3)
New initiatives in ESERA10 were: 1) Web site of ESERA10 Summer School; 2) Poster exhibition on research carried out by each PhD student participating to ESERA10: this opportunity for each PhD student to discuss with all other participants all researches presented in Udine, enriching the exchange done into WGs and was very appreciated by participants; 3)A little exhibit of recent researches of local URDF research Unit in coffee break area ; 4) a booklet on the activities in ESERA10 Summer School ; 5) A questionnaire to evaluate ESERA10 Summer School; 6) a Trip and social dinner in Aquileia and Grado ; 7) …some gifts…
The ESERA10 web site http://www.fisica.uniud.it/URDF/Esera2010/ is still active and now is enriched by the summary of researches presented by students and a photos gallery.