Environmental Socio-Scientific Issues in Initial Teacher Education

Multiplier Events

We organize national and international multiplier events for educational stakeholders to disseminate the modules for initial teacher education (ITE) that are developed within the project. The multiplier events aim at initializing dialogue on the matters at hand and substantiate the projects’ findings.

Multplier Event, 20th May 2021 by Elwier / Ecent, Utrecht University

Theme: Environmental socio-scientific issues in mathematics and science teacher education

Multiplier Event, 20th May 2021, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Should vaccination be compulsory? Is it possible to use only ‘renewable energy’? Can global warming be stopped?

The relevance of paying attention to this type of socially relevant scientific dilemma’s (socio-scientific issues) in teacher training for science and mathematics is increasing. After all, education has the task of preparing pupils for a future in which they are able to think along and decide on these kinds of issues.

SSI are little structured, open problems or dilemmas that have multiple solutions. Underlying data plays an important role in making decisions on such issues. Using mathematics, in particular statistics on large databases, therefor can play an important part in this.

In this multiplier event of the ENSITE project we will talk about how science and mathematics teacher educators can incorporate SSI. We focus on environmental SSI and use experiences and ideas from ENSITE and other European projects on this subject (Parrise, MasDiv).

Target group: Teacher educators of STEM

Dates: Thursday, 20th May 2021, 13:45-17:00


Environmental SSI in mathematics and science teacher education

13:45-14:00 Introduction
14:00-14:45 Invited plenary – Christine Knippels (Utrecht University, Freudenthal Institute) – SSI and IBL
14:45-15:00 Break
15:00-16:30 Topic discussions

Participants will learn how to teach science and maths, with the use of socioscientific issues.

For more details please visit here.

Christine Knippels talked about how SSIBL was developed (for example in the Parrise project) and the challenges of giving attention to SSIBL in teacher training. She also shared some results of her recent research: How do pre-service teachers’ value SSIBL-pedagogy? Participants had the chance to observe ENSITE project posters, which were posted on a shared padlet. In the second part participants were divided in breakout sessions: IO2 Reasoning argumentation and critical thinking (Gultekin Cakmakci), IO4 Analyzing and collecting (big)data (Monica Wijers), IO5 Decision making in relation to the aspect of learning (Martin Bílek), IO9 Developing an SSI lesson I – focus on didactic aspects (Hilde Ervik & Ellen Andersson). In these breakout sessions IO leaders presented their modules and discussed different topics with the audience. The event ended with a plenary discussion, summary and evaluation.

International Event, 28-29 August 2021 in Turkey

International STEM Education Conference – Incorporating Socio-scientific Issues into STEM Education

An international Multiplier Event in the frames of ENSITE held in Cappadocia on 28-29 August 2021

Hacettepe University, Turkey


How would you persuade someone to take COVID-19 vaccine? How can we tackle with climate change? As a teacher, how would you use socio-scientific issues in your classroom practice?

The citizens make their decisions based on their knowledge, beliefs, social values, worldviews, as well as based on the understanding about science and its nature. The participation of the public in discussion, policy debates and decision-making about science-related issues is essential to maintain a healthy democracy. This ENSITE Multiplier Event aimed to discuss with teachers, teacher educators and policy makers how to incorporate socio-scientific issues in STEM education.

The ENSITE Multiplier Event took place as part of the 2nd International STEM Education Conference and the 2nd International STEM Teachers Conference, which were held on August 28-29, 2021 in Cappadocia, Turkey. Accordingly, the theme of this year’s conference was “incorporating socio-scientific issues in STEM education”. It was organized by Hacettepe University as Multiplier Event for the ENSITE project. During the conference, a colorful programme offered the attendees the opportunity to participate in oral presentations, workshops, STEM Shows and the STEM Expo where 26 companies/institutions demonstrated their products and best practices. More than 100 participants from Turkey and Azerbaijan attended the conference. Among them: academics from in-service teacher education departments, teachers, policy makers, directors of PD centres, managers of Ministry of National Education from different cities, head teachers, representatives from science centres, PD providers and trainers from Science & Art Centres and other institutions.

Prof. Dr. Gultekin Cakmakci gave a talk on socio-scientific issues and STEM Education

The conference created an avenue to disseminate the intellectual outputs from the ENSITE project and presented best practices of incorporating socio-scientific issues in STEM education. Engaging discussions between the consortium members and attendees led to a lively exchange for future collaboration and guidance. The conference also created a platform for sharing other national and European projects on SSIs, such as “Towards a new model of Teachers’ Professional Competence Development on Climate Change” (ClimeTePD), and the ICSE project “Meaningful Open Schooling Connects Schools to Communities “(MOST).

Some participants received the “Best of STEM Education Awards” in the category of “Leadership”, “Entrepreneurship”, “Explainer/Facilitator”, “Book Editor” and “STEM PD Ambassadors”. These awards were given to the institution/person who significantly contributed to STEM Education.

Impressions from the Event

Prof. Dr. Semih Aktekin, Rector of NEVU and Prof. Dr. Hasan Ali Karasar participated in an activity at STEM Expo, People in the picture: Prof. Dr. Hasan Ali Karasar, Prof. Dr. Semih Aktekin, Ülkü Kara Karaaslan, Havva Geylan
Prof. Dr. Semih Aktekin presented Best of STEM Education Award in the category of “Explainer/Facilitator” to Havva Geylan
ENSITE Module 2: Reasoning, Argumentation and Critical Thinking presented at the event by Elif Uzun

International Forum on Teacher Professional Development and Socio-Scientific Issues, 30th November 2021 in Cyprus

Theme: International Forum on Teacher Professional Development and Socio-Scientific Issues, online

Date: 30th November 2021, University of Nicosia, Cyprus

The International Meeting on Teacher Professional Development and Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI) is an international online event organized by the Department of Education, University of Nicosia as part of the ENSITE project (Environmental Socio-Scientific Issues in Initial Teacher Preparation/ Erasmus+). The purpose of the event is to bring together researchers, teachers and policy makers from across Europe and beyond to discuss issues, concerns and future directions of teacher education regarding environmental socio-scientific issues. In the first part of the meeting, UNIC will present the ENSITE project and explain how this project can contribute to initial teacher preparation. Two invited keynote speakers, Dr. Dury Bayram Jacobs from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands and Dr. Pedro Reis from the Instituto de Educação, University of Lisbon, Portugal, will present aspects of their work relating to SSI and teacher education. In the second part participants can learn about the work that was developed in the ENSITE project by exploring our posters. The posters present teaching materials that were designed by the ENSITE partners to teach environmental socio-scientific issues to pre-service teachers. In the third part of the meeting a panel of international experts on SSI and teacher education will open the discussion with a presentation of their ideas, issues, concerns and future directions regarding SSI and teacher education. Then participants will work in groups coordinated by the international experts in order to discuss these ideas in detail in order to prepare a policy proposal.

90 people from across the world registered and attended the event. Participants also had the possibility to view the recordings later on.

Please find here the link to the recorded morning sessions: https://vimeo.com/654075234

The presentations can also be found here: http://www.girls4stemcyprus.com/ensite-presentations.html

Multiplier Event, 11th May 2022, Malta

Theme: Seminar on using Socio-Scientific Issues in Science Education

Multiplier Event, 11th May 2022, University of Malta

The seminar was held in Malta on the 11th May 2022 at the Bellavanti meeting room of the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Floriana. The participants included policy makers such as the Assistant Director for Learning and Assessment Programmes and Education Officers; teacher-mentors, and lecturers from the Department of Mathematics and Science Education responsible for initial teacher education.

The seminar focussed on Socio-Scientific Issues (SSIs) in science education and included an Introduction to SSIs by Oliver Straser, ICSE, University of Education Freiburg. Mario Muscat, an Education Officer for Science spoke about an initiative of the Science centre which involves students from different schools competing in science-themed debates. These presentations were followed by workshops in which the participants discussed the possibility of including SSIs and linking them to their school syllabi, challenges envisaged and possible solutions to these challenges.

Ellen Andersson from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology presented ideas related to plastic waste that can be used in lessons involving SSIs. Josette Farrugia introduced the idea of using formative assessment to support the development of skills required when dealing with SSIs. A second set of workshops involved the participants in the preparation of an outline of a lesson involving SSIs.

The participants expressed their interest in incorporating SSIs in their teaching and looked forward to similar seminars in the future.


Multiplier Event – Trondheim 05 May 2022, Norway

Theme: Workshop on designing a lesson on environmental Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI)

ENSITE Multiplier Event – Trondheim 05.05.22, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Univeriteit (NTNU), Norway

“Realfagkonferansen” is an annual event for teachers in the middle part of Norway. Between 200 and 300 teachers from primary and up to upper secondary schools participated in May 2022. The event is organized by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and provides a meeting place for teachers, where they can get input and inspiration to their own science and mathematics teaching. The 2022 program included plenary lectures parallel sessions with workshops.

Two members of the Norwegian team presented module O9 in a workshop. In addition a poster session were organized presenting modules O1, O2, O5 and O9 (Figure 1), which the participants visited.

Figure 1: Posterpresentation of IO1, IO2, IO5 and IO9 at “Realfagkonferansen”, NTNU.

The topics covered in the workshop were plastic as a waste problem and as an environmental hazard. We also invited the participants to do a laboratory experiment where they had to identify various kinds of plastic. The teachers can repeat the experiment with their own students.

Very good feedback was obtained. The teachers enjoyed the workshop and wanted to try out what they learned in their own classrooms.

International Event, August 25th 2022 in Slovakia, Nitra

Theme: Social-Scientific Issues in Mathematics and Science Teachers Education

Date: 25th August 2022

Venue: Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia

This ENSITE Multiplier Event is part of an international one-day conference and will include plenary lectures as well as seminars and workshops. Our target groups of this events are teachers in higher education, PhD students, policy makers, curricula designers and scientists in general pedagogy and theory of education, mathematics and science subjects. One strong target group of the conference participants is the group of in-service teachers, who assist to students in initial teachers’ education (ITE) as the pedagogical practice mentors at upper primary and secondary schools. The other strong national group are university teachers participating on ITE. We are expecting professors at several Slovak universities from Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, Košice, Prešov, Žilina, Trnava – and also  policy makers of educational institutions like: State Pedagogical Institute, National Centre for Certificated Measurement in Education, State Institute of Vocational Education, National Centre of Scientific and Technical Information.

With this event we want to enable participants to act as multipliers upon the end of the event, promoting and transferring the project, its results and underlying environmental challenges to a wide audience across Europe. We want to introduce our developed intellectual outputs within the ENSITE project:
  • O2 Reasoning, argumentation and critical thinking using media reports as a starting point
  • O5 Decision-making based on confronting scientific positions
  • O10 Designing a SSI lesson II with focus on appropriate methods to promote creativity, critical thinking and reasoning
  • O11 Scaffolding, supporting students by providing a framework how to deal with SSI
  • O12 SSI and assessment of student work

We want to introduce other project materials and ideas and discuss their contents, relevance and implications. Participants will naturally get to
know the outputs, gain knowledge on environmental issues and how they affect their role as teachers of future generations. The event will support them in including socio-scientific issues into their future teaching, academic and scientific work. The resulting feedback and input will be used to improve our materials and gain insight in further national particularities and necessities.

The project ENSITE IOs will be presented by their leaders: IO2, IO5, IO10, IO11, IO12 as on-site and/or on-line lectures in the morning of the day. In the afternoon on-site workshops and on-line seminars will be organized. The ENSITE IOs will be presented by paper posters and short videos, too.

The languages of the multiplier event are English and Slovak.

The conference is free of charge for all participants.

For more information contact: Sona Ceretkova or Janka Medova

The creation of these resources has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union under grant no. 2019-1-DE01-KA203-005046. Neither the European Union/European Commission nor the project’s national funding agency DAAD are responsible for the content or liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.

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