Rome, 19 - 20 May 2014
AEMASE stands for “African-European-Mediterranean Academies for Science Education”. This Conference is an initiative of five prestigious institutions, mostly Sciences Academies in Africa and Europe. It will gather 50 delegates selected from African, European and Mediterranean countries. Its venue will be the prestigious Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in the very centre of Rome.
At primary and secondary school science education (SE) is currently viewed as in a state of crisis calling for attention in many countries. In developed countries it is one reason of the decreasing appetite of students for careers in science and technology, which risks lowering the level of industrial innovation and imperilling the economics’ future. A sound and attractive SE appears also critical in developing countries, due to its very efficient role in fastening development. This is why the four science academies quoted below and the prestigious Bibliotheca Alexandrina organize the said AEMASE Conference in Rome. They believe that the present social and economic challenges of most countries require an urgent and long term decisive action to renew SE for young people, with an emphasis on early education at primary and lower secondary school levels when a human being’s curiosity is usually at its highest. For this they believe that ‘inquiry-based science education’ (IBSE) fostered, among other similar programmes, by ‘La main à la pâte’, is the best pedagogical approach. Therefore, the AEMASE Conference will have two goals:
- To foster the concrete dialogue between developed and developing countries for renewing SE. Many successful European programmes have put an emphasis on training teachers teaching science so that they engage in the IBSE pedagogy or similar pedagogical approaches. A highly valuable expertise and good resources on formal SE are available in several European countries. Moreover, in Africa certain countries have developed successful national programmes for informal SE. The Conference will be a place for peer-to-peer sharing of best practices and resources about formal and informal SE and setting up international North-South, South-South and North-North pooling of experience and resources to launch and continue pilot projects.
- To strengthen in each country the partnership between Science Academies and Ministries of Education for the benefit of the renewal of SE. Indeed, a national programme to renew SE (short or long term depending on the country) involves offering professional development to all teachers teaching science, which is a particularly challenging task. It requires a strong commitment and pro-active efforts from many stakeholders in a country, in particular from educational policy-makers. The ambition of the Rome Conference is to create, encourage or empower informal partnerships within participating countries between scientists of Academies and representatives of Ministries of Education for the implementation of IBSE in schools and the development of informal SE for the youth.
Founding North and South Institutions
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt
Académie des Sciences, France
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
Académie Hassan II des Sciences et Techniques, Morocco
Académie Nationale des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
This initiative has received the endorsement of the network ALLEA (ALL European Academies).
Mostapha Bousmina (Académie Hassan II des Sciences et Techniques, Morocco)
Hoda S. Elmikaty (Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt)
Odile Macchi (Académie des Sciences, France)
Lamberto Maffei, Giancarlo Vecchio (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy)
Ahmadou Wague (Académie Nationale des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal)
Profile of the Conference participants
From each country represented, the Conference will gather three delegates who will share their viewpoints and interact:
- representatives of science academies from Europe and Mediterranean/African countries
- policy-makers as well as high representatives of Ministries of education
- experts in science education and teacher professional development
A preliminary programme is appended. Each national delegation will have the opportunity to present (at least during the poster session) the experiences and projects of its country and to exchange with other countries about the science education issues that they think are critical.
Display of material
In addition to goals 1 and 2, the Conference will offer the participants the opportunity to present locally/nationally/internationally developed resources aimed at supporting science teaching (pedagogical units, scientific contents, material, assessment guidelines, etc.).
After the Conference
It is hoped that contacts established during the Conference on a voluntary basis will be turned into international twinnings and collaborations, so that the resources and expertise in IBSE and informal SE can be exchanged in a concrete way. It is expected that pilot projects inspired by the FP6/FP7 European projects can be launched, by applying to international funding agencies concerned with education.
Professor Lamberto Maffei
President of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
Professor Odile Macchi
Co-chair of the Organizing Committee, Member of the Académie des sciences, France
Professor Giancarlo Vecchio
Co-chair of the Organizing Committee, Member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei