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Carlos Cunha is a Physics and Chemistry teacher at Escola Secundária Dom Manuel Martins,  upper secondary school in Setúbal, Portugal.

He has a thorough experience in promoting hands-on and inquiry oriented learning. He was involved in several projects on Astronomy and Physics teaching; he is also a member of the Scientix expert panel and a pilot teacher in the ECB/inGenious project.

Explaining his teaching credo, Carlos says: "I really do think that experimental and inquiry based teaching is the best way to get a meaningful learning, specially when using simple toys or day-to-day objects to illustrate physical phenomena."

Carlos is a Chemical engineer with a master degree in Laboratory Physics, Teaching and History of Physics. He has also received further teacher training in programmes organised by CERN, European Space Agency and other international research institutions. 

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Summary of the 2nd Teacher ODE Summary of the 2nd Teacher ODE

The second teacher Online Discussion Event took place in the period 19-21 September 2012 and was moderated by Carlos Cunha. During the three day event teachers were invited to discuss which European and national science education project results the participating teachers had knowledge of. It was also discussed how appropriate and applicable the teachers felt the resources and methods are when it comes to using them in practice.

Bellow you find a summary of the discussed themes each day of the event.

Day 1
The first day focussed on the STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education projects the participating teachers knew of.
Some teachers mentioned that they didn´t know about most of the projects mentioned by the moderator but highlighted other projects in which they had participated. Others had participated in some of the highlighted projects but said that in some countries, the language is a barrier for the participation of students.

Day 2
On this second day, teachers where invited to tell how appropriated project result are at explain how the methods/tools can help teachers reach the goals of their teaching plan more efficiently.
During the discussion teachers said they usually search for videos, applications, experiments and presentations that can help them on their day-to-day teaching. Some projects and sites were mentioned as sources of good materials, such as CLIMANTICA and Xplore Health, Cosmos, EU-HOU, ITEC, etc. When it was discussed if the materials they find from project results are the right materials - it was mentioned that the main difficulty most teachers face, is to choose among the vast amount of information available on the internet.

Day 3
The last day teachers were asked to tell about the tools and methods from science education project that had been useful for their teaching practice by giving concrete examples.
Many teachers mentioned resources they had found on the internet for teaching. Teachers mentioned that these resources are "fresh, immediate, with excellent diagrams and drawings. However it was said that "the importance to have supporting guidelines for teachers and also training to make sure teachers are prepared to handle the resources" is essential when using new resources. It was also stressed that guidelines developed by other science teachers improves the quality of the guidelines.

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RE: Questions
20/09/12 09:54
The first question:
What kind of teaching material and information do you normally look for when searching for science education results?
Do you also look for methods and if yes, what type of methods you would like to learn more about (for example lecture methods, guided discussion methods, demonstration-performance methods or group learning processes)?
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 10:06 as a reply to Xenia Lauritsen.
Good morning.

Adding some discussion topics to the first question:

Do you use reports from ended projects? Do you look for them? If yes: do they have important and useful information?

Have you ever looked for Inquire Based Learning methodology? Did you find anything?
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 11:12 as a reply to Carlos Cunha.
Good morning,

I teach science and biology and I Usually look for Videos, games, experiments, and sometimes presentations from different web pages. Each year I include new resources and remove others.

Sometimes I can use, in one or two sessions, materials from the same page, most of all if I am explaining innovative topics like cancer, biotechnology, nanotechnology,... Related with health, I like the resources from The web page Xplore Health http://www.xplorehealth.eu/es. It includes some topics like obesity, skin cancer, malaria or biotechnology.
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 15:20 as a reply to Xenia Lauritsen.
Good morning!

Teachers use many differents materials, including a lot of on line resources, to present a subject.
At present the rsources on line thera are very extensive.
Perhaps the hardest work of a teacher is to pick and sort.
Global projects working on a topic whith a variety of activties, videos,.... help the teacher very much.
As I said yesterday I use some projects usually as: CLIMANTICA and Xplore Health
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 14:23 as a reply to Xenia Lauritsen.
Could you come up with some examples of methods and tools that you have been trying to find more information about without any success?
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 15:24 as a reply to Carlos Cunha.
Dear Carlos,
I use a lot of information from ended projects and find very interesting informations. I was find some interesting projects used Inquire Based Learning methodology, as Establish project, Cosmos portal, EU-Hou...
Students like to do experiments, to search information from Internet.
Tsetsa Hristova
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 17:33 as a reply to Carlos Cunha.
For a teacher hardest work is the selection of material, more resources are required to complete and present a project.
I entered Xplore Health, there are many information that could be used in making a point.
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 19:27 as a reply to Xenia Lauritsen.
Good afternoon.

I teach Maths in a secondary school (ages 14 to 17) in a Spanish private school and I use to search for material in the Internet and to develop interactive material myself. There is a Mathematics portal depending on Spanish Ministry of Education (Descartes portal, http://recursostic.educacion.es/descartes/web/) where you can find complete material to develop each of the topics my students need to learn. I can share with them some of the links but not all of them, because the different levels of developing of those topics. Another good source of material are the webpage of Wolfram Mathworld (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/).

I’m involved in iTEC (http://itec.eun.org), an European project that tries to develop some new technological and methodological approaches and test them in real classrooms to find what improvements are needed in educational programs all across Europe. iTEC project is organized in cycles in which we explore different methods implementing different scenarios with some learning activities designed “on purpose”: in cycle 1, we have explored group learning; in cycle 2, we have explored collaborating learning; in cycle 3 (going on right now) we are exploring design oriented learning.
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 19:31 as a reply to Lidia Ristea.
Lidia Ristea:
For a teacher hardest work is the selection of material, more resources are required to complete and present a project..

I totally agree with that. Fortunately, there are arising many teachers communities that share their findings, their selected materials or selected resources in the web.
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 20:05 as a reply to Xenia Lauritsen.
When you hear about science education project results (in publications, events, or resources database), does it often correspond to your needs as teacher? Do you feel project results are adapted to your professional requisites?

Please comment.
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RE: Questions
20/09/12 21:01 as a reply to Carlos Cunha.
Dear Carlos,
Yes, science education project results often correspond to my needs as teacher and they are adapted to my professional requisites. For me is very interesting to improve my teaching using new ideas.
Tsetsa Hristova
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RE: Questions
21/09/12 00:25 as a reply to Carlos Cunha.
Although somewhat later (I'm at home reviewing the messages). Post interesting links of my practice as a teacher.

Excellent class on line




Examples of use in my classes. The projects to which they are very interesting and very complete. They have many things that a teacher needs, even with the student feedback.


I've known these projects on the net or teacher meetings
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RE: For you Carlos Urgently
08/10/12 22:02
hello Carlos
It' s me Lidia , helped me with the departure of Istanbul .., I want to talk with you urgently,
I'll leave my e-mail
RE: Questions
21/09/12 22:31
Carlos Cunha:
What is the information that you want to receive when projects results are communicated to you either online, on paper or in life events?
What are the main elements that inspire you to use a method, a tool or a resource in science education?

As a teacher, I would be interested in any project that has clear and simple step by step guidance. Also it would be helpful if we can have a variety of differentiated resources that can suit students with different abilities. Also, I would be really interested in activities that they are tackling global and current issues. From the student perspective, I think they will be very interested in activities with interactive aspects, attractive graphics, and achievable targets where they can apply and enhance their knowledge and skills. In addition a good practice or project must provide an opportunity for instant feedback to the students.
RE: Questions
21/09/12 22:30
Carlos Cunha:
Have you used new methods/resources in your teaching from European or national projects?
How do you classify and rate the information you achieve? Is it helpfull?
Quality is, on your opinion good?

I participated in many projects such Ingenious (European) and Go4set/EDT (national UK).
The InGenious practices that I chose (Superbenz workshop, Sensor adventure and Skool Football) were fun, challenging, useful and relevant to my students. The teacher guidance was generally very helpful and easy to follow.
Regarding Go4set/ EDT I have entered 2 teams of 6 students last year in STEM projects competition provided by Go4set. The information and support we had were very good and the students learned a lot from this experience. During 10 weeks the students developed their investigative and scientific skills as well their team work and interpersonal skills. The constant feedback they had from me as teacher and the engineer who was the mentor of the project was extremely beneficial for the students. And I have to say winning the competition was just the icing on the cake.
RE: Questions
21/09/12 22:27
Carlos Cunha:
Good morning.

When you find results/resources that can be used in your practice – do you always feel the results are useful and inspiring for your work? If you cannot think of any project results, you are welcome to take inspiration in the list of projects mentioned during day 1.

Hello all,
I usually try to use as much fun and inspiring activities as I can in my lessons to motivate students and raise their interest in science. I often use online resources from variety of national websites in the UK such ashttp://www.echalk.co.uk/, http://teachers.guardian.co.uk/, http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resources/, http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/teachers/, http://www.channel4learning.com/. They offer lots of free interactive games and activities as well as interesting video clips. In general, the activities are easy to implement and some of them they have complete lesson plans. The students enjoy learning using these tools either individually using laptops or as class activity using interactive whiteboard and they benefit a lot from the immediate feedback or self-assessment. However I find searching for the relevant activity that fits the lesson or the topic I’m teaching is time consuming and sometimes in our busy schedules it can be a problem. In my school we share and disseminate any tried good projects and activities.