Bishop Grosseteste University was part of a group of European Universities involved in a European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme research project entitled Creative Little Scientists: Enabling Creativity through Science and Mathematics in Preschool and First Years of Primary Education.
Members of the University’s staff, Ashley Compton and Alison Riley worked with early years science and mathematics experts from:
- the Institute of Education, UK
- the Open University, UK
- the University of Eastern Finland
- Artevelde University College in Belgium
- Goethe University Frankfurt
- the University of Minho in Portugal
- the National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics in Romania
- the Université de Picardie Jules Verne, France, the University of Malta, led by academics from Ellinogermaniki Agogi in Greece.
The research was carried out over a two year period in nine European countries, chosen because they represent a wide spectrum of educational, economic, social and cultural contexts, as well as a wide spectrum of practices regarding science and mathematics education in general, science and mathematics education in early years, and creativity in education. The BGU team lead on some aspects of the project (e.g. developing the conceptual framework) and were part of the team that collected data to map, compare and analyse existing practices in creative early years science and mathematics, provided directions for teacher training and disseminated the research findings.
News from the project
Participating in the project
The Creative Little Scientists consortium brought together early years practitioners, academics and researchers from 9 European countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and the UK) and comprised expertise of the highest level and quality in the areas of science and mathematics education in early childhood, creativity in education, cognitive psychology, comparative educational studies, and teacher training. It was a wide ranging project in a field that is being seen as increasingly important in the current educational and economical climate.
Far from being a solely academic research project, we were actively involving current teachers to inform the project as we sought to develop a picture of existing practices in schools across Europe, as well as develop policy guidelines and teacher training material. As such, teachers working in pre-school and primary Education participated in one or both of the phases of research:
- First phase: by completing the online questionnaire (completed)
- Second phase: by taking part in the in-depth research conducted by the project and collaborating with researchers through classroom observations and interviews (January – April 2013).