On the traces of science

A number of findings from research in science education are well known and broadly accepted. They refer, for example, to inquiry based learning, social dimension of learning, active learning, diversity of learning styles, based on individual, cultural, gender-related factors. It is however difficult to receive indications coming from research and apply them to classroom practice: there are cultural barriers, preparation barriers, time and resources constraints.

TRACES investigated for two years into the factors that influence research-based science education carrying out both large-scale surveys and in-depth case studies with small groups of teachers involved in ordinary practice and training and experimentation programmes with researchers.

Teachers, administrators, policy makers and researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Israel, Italy and Spain were involved in the project activities. Approximately 2000 science teachers of all school grades were involved in the national surveys while approximately 200 worked together with researchers in science education in the case studies.

Working with teachers in the framework of actions aimed at promoting research-based science teaching implied addressing, along with the more strictly disciplinary and pedagogical issues, equally fundamental questions such as those related to teacher training, those related to the relationships among colleagues, those related to the local context in which the school operates. 

This website presents the main findings of the TRACES research and a series of recommendations for future actions inspired to the findings, organized along seven main themes emerging as more relevant to the research-practice issue.

We hope that our findings and recommendations can contribute to sparkle debate and identify relevant aspects on which more research is needed.

You can browse recommendations, related findings and the case study reports using the specific menus on the left in this page. More extensive information can be found in the complete reports accessible in the Project section of the main menu.


TRACES-UNINA New website about science education

Friday, 27 September 2013 14:15

The UNINA TRACES group has develped a new website (in Italian language only) focused on science education and called "Quale Scienza Quale Educazione" (What science what education). The website aims at recounting educational experiences in which the research group has been involved or has been in touch during the last years, in order to set up a process of shared reflection with a number of interested actors (teachers, students, parents, educators, researchers). The contents are organized according to the educational context (school, university, informal) to which they refer, but special attention si devoted to the possible mixings of educational settings among those contexts.


Why Are Finland's Schools Successful?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:20

According to the article by LynNell Hancock published on Smithsonian magazine, Finland has vastly improved in reading, math and science literacy over the past decade in large part because its teachers are trusted to do whatever it takes to turn young lives around...There are no mandated standardized tests in Finland, apart from one exam at the end of students’ senior year in high school. There are no rankings, no comparisons or competition between students, schools or regions. Finland’s schools are publicly funded. 

Download this file (Why Finland.pdf)Why Finland.pdf177 Kb

TRACES conference

Monday, 12 March 2012 16:06

The TRACES conference is a 3-day interactive workshop involving around 100 among science teachers, school principals, researchers in science education, school administrators and policy makers coming from Argentine, Brazil, Colombia, Israel, Italy and Spain. 

To be held in Naples on April 9-12 and hosted by the University of Naples Federico II, the conference is aimed at discussing the findings of the TRACES project in order to better understand what they tell about how the interaction among schools and universities can be effectively exploited to improve the way science is taught at school.


National Conference TRACES UPN Colombia

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 19:19

The National TRACES-UPN Teachers Conference was held in Bogotá City from February 25th to February 27th, with the attendance of 30 teachers from three different Colombian regions: Bogotá D.C., Santa Marta (Caribe) and Tauramena (Casanare) and invited researchers from Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional and several schools from Bogotá.


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