to promote inquiry-based learning in mathematics and science at both primary and secondary levels across Europe

The European Project PRIMAS

PRIMAS is an international project within the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union. Fourteen universities from twelve different countries have worked together over four years to promote the implementation and use of inquiry-based learning in mathematics and science. PRIMAS has developed materials for direct use in class and for professional development. In addition, we have run professional development activities and have supported professional networks in each of the partner countries. PRIMAS has also worked with stakeholders such as policymakers, school leaders and parents to create a supportive environment for inquiry-based learning (see the Catalogue of Public Engagement initiatives for Horizon 2020). Although the project officially ended in December 2013, the work of promoting inquiry-based learning continues.
Learn more about the project

Final publications
The final publication of PRIMAS shows examples of resources and classroom experiences. The film below illustrates accomoplishments of PRIMAS.

In this film, we share with you numerous PRIMAS achievements and implementation activities carried out during project lifetime. We filmed exemplary activities as a way of illustrating project accomplishments. For your information, these implementation activities were premised on a theory-based, multi-dimensional implementation plan. We use a cartoon created especially for the film to help illustrate this implementation plan in a viewer-friendly way. In the cartoon, the fictive student Moritz and his teacher Jane give an overview of the PRIMAS concept, exemplify the purpose of implementation activities, and also show how they worked.
The film does not address challenges teachers face when they try to implement inquiry-based learning. You can find out more about this important aspect by turning to the presentations provided here.

What is inquiry-based learning?

Inquiry-based learning involves exploring the world, asking questions, making discoveries, and rigorously testing those discoveries in search of new understanding. Inquiry-based learning can have many faces, dependent on context, target group and learning aims. However, inquiry-based learning approaches all have the shared characteristics of aiming to promote curiosity, engagement and in-depth learning.
What exactly does inquiry-based learning mean

Why inquiry-based learning?

In our dynamic, knowledge-based society, pupils must develop the ability to attain knowledge and competencies, as well as problem-solving skills. Knowledge of facts alone is not enough in the 21st century. Pupils should develop competencies to apply their knowledge in realistic, problem-solving situations. They also need to develop competencies for self-directed learning and to explore new knowledge areas. Inquiry-based learning can support the development of such competencies.

Why does inquiry-based learning need support?

Although many teachers would like to have more inquiry-based learning going on in their classrooms, it can be quite hard to get started. Successful inquiry requires new learning tasks, new teaching repertoires and changing roles for both teachers and pupils.

• Learn more about the project
• Introducing inquiry-based learning in your classroom (Teaching)
• Running professional development courses
• Spreading the idea of inquiry-based learning to various target groups (Dissemination)
Policy issues
• How my child profits from inquiry-based learning (For parents)
• Go directly to the materials database
News & Events

National PRIMAS websites

United Kingdom
The Netherlands

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