Exploring innovation in science education in India and South Korea
Published: 10 Jan 2017
Rick Hall, founder of Nottingham based education company Ignite!, has recently returned from India where he investigated examples of innovation in science education. Rick began his overseas research into this subject in October, when he visited South Korea. His travels were enabled by a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship Award, in partnership with the Mercers’ Company.
Rick's Fellowship was prompted by what he regarded as a gathering concern in primary science education, and the need to support teachers to deliver a compulsory part of the primary curriculum. In a May 2016 report, Ofsted expressed concern that primary science was not receiving adequate time and resources, and that a focus on English and Maths had pushed science “to the margins of the curriculum in many primary schools”.
Rick spent ten days in South Korea, renowned for its emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education and was particularly impressed by the relationships between Science Museums and schools, especially in those science discovery centres where school science labs were in regular use. During his visit to the World Creativity Festival in Daejeon, Rick was invited to join the judging panel for an invention competition.
During his three weeks in India, Rick visited schools in Mumbai, Pune, Udaipur and Ahmedabad, and the Centre for Science Education, which was founded by Professor Arvind Gupta in Pune. Rick recorded a series of workshops for the centre, which supports teachers in creating practical resources and science ‘toys’ out of recycled materials.
“Korea places a high priority on attainment in STEM subjects, recognising that economic prosperity relies on technical innovation. In India I observed some extraordinary examples of excellent practice in science learning, which I am confident have relevance for schools in England” – Rick Hall
Now back in the UK, Rick is planning a series of workshops for teachers in creating resources to make science learning more fun and accessible, especially in primary schools.
Notes to Editors
Phone: 07801 034 732
Ignite!'s website: www.ignitefutures.org.uk
The Mercers’ Company
The Mercers’ Company (www.mercers.co.uk) have jointly funded 10 Fellowships a year from 2013-2015, to develop linked projects to improve the educational achievement of young people aged 5-19, with particular emphasis on English, Maths, Science and Technology. The Mercers’ Company is closely involved with the running of 17 schools across the country and makes a number of grants to improve the availability and quality of education for children and young adults, focused on young people from the ages of 5-25.