Mobile Teaching Unit goes East
30 March 2009
A year after visiting primary schools in the region to gather information about Bristol University’s science engagement activities, a group of Turkish education experts have launched their own mobile teaching unit, similar to that developed by AIMS and Bristol ChemLabS, the University’s two Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs).
The original visit was hosted by Tim Harrison, Bristol ChemLabS School Teacher Fellow, and Professor Dudley Shallcross from the University’s School of Chemistry. The group toured local primary schools to observe different types of mobile science teaching and had the opportunity to attend two Bristol ChemLabS primary science workshops, whereby a classroom or school hall is transformed into a science laboratory for the day. The group also saw the Mobile Teaching Unit in action at a Gloucestershire school.
The fact-finding exercise, organised through Bozok University, was designed to help the visitors develop their own outreach programmes to take back and employ in primary schools in rural parts of central Turkey, as part of an European Union (EU)-funded lifelong learning project, called Mobilim, to improve science and technology teaching.
The visitors, representing several Turkish higher education institutions, were so impressed that they took on many aspects of the outreach work to create their own mobile teaching unit. The prime focus of the Turkish mobile teaching unit is to address the great disparities between the pedagogical and subject knowledge of teachers in rural regions compared with coastal regions. The mobile lab will be used predominantly for teacher training with some student work.
Tim Harrison said: ‘This is a fantastic example of an unexpected outcome of the CETLs programme at Bristol. The participation in EU-funded Leonardo da Vinci collaborations such as Mobilim was not envisaged when we started on the ChemLabS projects. It is interesting to note where news of the quality of the outreach work from Bristol’s CETLs ends up.’
For more information on the Turkish Mobilim project, please see the website.