The Promotion of Scientific Inquiry in Irish Post-Primary Schools Through the Use of a Virtual Chemistry Laboratory: Implications for Teacher Education
Thursday, March 10 1:30 PM-2:00 PM
The lack of uptake of science subjects in Post-Primary Schools (High Schools) is a continuous concern, both in Ireland and the international community. In the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation Report, the Irish government stresses the need for a greater focus on investigative approaches, assessing practical work and effectively using Information and Communications Technology. This mirrors the international move towards inquiry and more authentic student experience of the sciences. A review of the Irish Science Syllabi is ongoing to find possible solutions. This paper proposes a Virtual Chemistry Laboratory (VCL) as a practical infrastructure to tackle these issues and facilitate change. This work describes the views of educational stakeholders on the potential integration of a VCL into the Irish Chemistry Syllabus and the use of a VCL by 5 Science teachers, highlighting how a VCL can address and raise awareness of many contemporary issues in science and teacher education.