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Estonia

UTARTU
University of Tartu
Logo UTARTU
Logo UTARTU

The University of Tartu (UTARTU), founded in 1632, is the oldest, largest and major university in Estonia. The Centre for Science Education within the Faculty of Science and Technology is involved in teaching pre-service teachers across all science subjects and in conducting in-service teacher courses at the separate science and interdisciplinary levels. In addition, the Centre is the only research centre for science education in Estonia, having 2 full professors specifically having expertise in science education and a third in information technology within science education. It has post doctorate and PhD students and a range of Masters’ students training to become science teachers. Centre staff has been heavily involved in developing teaching-learning materials in Estonia, having published 2 books (supplementary teaching materials related to STL and paradigm shift in science education for post-Soviet countries) and produced unpublished resources for UNESCO, based on IBSE related material-writing workshops in a range of countries worldwide. The Centre has been and is involved in being the national coordinating centre for a number of European project such as introducing biotechnology in the secondary schools as part of the EU programme - European Initiative for Biotechnology Education (EIBE); FP6 project BIOHEAD-CITIZEN; FP6 project on Raising the Popularity and Relevance of science education - PARSEL, FP6 PENCIL, FP7 project on Scy-Science Created by You, FP7 project ESTABLISH and in Comenius projects such as SySTEM and the online teacher training project, EuSTD-Web. The Centre also collaborates with the Institute of Chemistry within the Faculty for the FP7 Fibonacci project and in conjunction with the University of Tallinn for the FP7 S-Test project. The Centre for Science Education chaired an ESF project (2006-8) between all tertiary institutions in Estonia on sustainability of science education at all educational levels and as a follow up is chairing the network for collaboration in science education and leading curriculum development in science education for the Ministry of Education.

Prof. Miia Rannikmäe, Centre for Science Education, has considerable experience in science education in Estonia, Europe and worldwide plus working experience in University of Iowa, USA. She has a strong school teaching background, considerable experience in pre- and in-service teacher training and has strong links with science teacher associations worldwide. She was a member of the EC high level group associated with the publication of the 2004 report on ‘Europe needs more Scientists’. She is running a number of EC funded projects and is the grant holder for an Estonian basic funded research grant on modeling science education for relevance and an Estonian Science Foundation grant for exploring teachers’ understanding of the Nature of Science. Her PhD students are involved in areas such as scientific literacy, relevance, creativity/reasoning, inquiry teaching/learning and the nature of science. She is the organiser of a 2010 world science conference on innovations in science and technology education.

Prof. Jack Holbrook is a visiting professor for the University of Tartu, with extensive experience in the field of science education worldwide. His PhD is in the science field (Chemistry), but he also has a school teaching background, experience in pre- and in-service teacher training in the sciences, in running in-service training workshops in a range of countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa as well as Europe. He acts as an education consultant in a range of Asian and African countries. His research covers curriculum development in science subjects, assessment and evaluation as well supervising PhD students in use-inspired research, inquiry learning and changing teacher beliefs. He has written and adapted numerous classroom teaching materials and published books for teachers as well as science textbooks for use in school. He has been contracted to evaluate the standard of education PhD theses in Estonia and is consulting on school secondary curriculum evaluation in Portugal.

Anne Lauis is a practicing Biology teacher and research fellow in the centre for Science Education. She is currently undertaking a PhD in the field of creativity in science education. Anne is the current editor of the Estonian science teachers journal and a committee member of the Estonia Biology teachers association responsible for links between secondary and tertiary Biology educators.

Moonika Teppo is a practicing science teacher up to grade 9. She is also undertaking a PhD in the area of relevance in science teaching and is a pre-service programme officer in the Centre for Science Education. Moonika is chairman of the Estonian science teachers organization and is well experienced in soliciting teacher involvement and disseminating outcomes to science teachers and other stakeholders within Estonia.

Minkee Kim is a PhD holder and is currently serving as a post-doc in the Centre for Science Education. His expertise is in physics education and in evaluating inquiry teaching using videotaping techniques. Minkee has expertise in the utilising of ICT in science education and industry-education liaison between Estonia and Finland.

Urmas Kojasaar is assistant professor in the Centre for Science Education with expertise in interdisciplinary research into medical and food biology with the Faculty of Medicine. He has many articles on introducing new issues about medical science for the general public and in developing school textbooks.

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