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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: Introduction
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Introduction
10/10/12 14:20
Teaching is complex and demanding work that requires highly specialised skills and knowledge to impact significantly on student learning. Improving the learning outcomes of all students regardless of their background is sometimes challenging. To improve student learning outcome the European Union funds initiatives that can provide teachers with extended opportunities to build on what they already know about effective learning and teaching. Despite the challenges with integrating new methods in your classes other formal obstacles might make it difficult to apply new methods in practice. For example, even though European projects that produce new tools and methods for teaching, exist, the actual tool may still be in conflict with the required curriculum and the accompanying examinations.
The planning of active learning projects often takes time. The process may deepen students' understanding of certain ideas, but teachers may be concerned about sacrificing breadth of coverage.
Today I would like you to tell about the usefulness of European and national project results you have been informed of. You should focus on the tools and methods from science education project that have been useful for your teaching practice – without going into details about how. You can for example give example of project results that have been useful as well as project results that have not.
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RE: Introduction
21/09/12 20:39 as a reply to Xenia Lauritsen.
An effective teaching requires a teacher's experience to adapt to the needs of students, promote modern new methods so that students freely express their own ideas when engaged in discussion and not just performers.
To teach a lesson using exercise teacher uses more than one method must explain and chat with students to be used that way and not another.
The project method uses many resources and tools that should be available to students, to like what I do so that the final product to meet the expectations of students.
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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
lidiaristea2004@yahoo.com
THK
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.