Learning in Non-Formal or Semi-Formal Education Settings

Decisions we take today influence how we live tomorrow.  Our world is complex and we need to encourage scientific literacy if people are to make informed decisions for themselves as well as for society.

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Here at the University of Innsbruck Botanic Garden we carry out education research that focuses on how to engage young people in plants and plant science and how to encourage them to develop scientific concepts. For young people to understand the nature of science, they need to acquire scientific knowledge, practice and values. Currently we focus on inquiry based learning as an up to date teaching approach.

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We recognize that teachers are key players in this process, which is why we concentrate on teacher training - bringing theory and practice together. We engage in European wide educational projects to support this development.

a3Science learning doesn’t just take place in formal settings, such as universities and schools. It also takes place informally on sites such as museums, zoos and botanic gardens. The University of Innsbruck Botanic Garden is a perfect location for education research, enabling us to understand how schools and botanic gardens interact and cooperate for students’ and teachers´ learning.

In addition we engage in science communication as well as evaluate research and education projects (Sparkling Science: Alien Invaders, TopKlimaScience, GrassClim) carried out by the Faculty of Biology.

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