Free University of Berlin

Reference centre

Contact person

Petra Skiebe
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Free University of Berlin - short overview

The Freie Universität Berlin is a leading research institution and one of nine German universities that received funding as part of the federal and state Excellence Initiative. Within the University, the informal science laboratory NatLab of the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy provides innovative science training for primary and secondary teachers. NatLab received three awards between 2005 and 2006 for integrating hands-on experiments and inquiry-based learning in pre- and post-service training of teachers. NatLab has good connections with the informal science laboratories of other universities, research institutions and science museums, with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities, as well as with the Senate Department for Education in Berlin.

Excellence in inquiry-based science education approach

As a member of the Pollen project, the Freie Universität Berlin has implemented a program in Berlin to improve science education through inquiry-based science education. This program is based on teacher training and providing teaching material, which is in accordance with the Berlin school curriculum. In order to extend the program to additional schools and beyond Pollen, TuWaS! (Technik und Naturwissenschaften an Schulen, Technology and Science in Schools) was founded.

IBSE successfully implemented in a large number of classes

In 2006, 40 classes of seven different primary schools were part of Pollen. In 2007, Pollen was extended to 11 schools. 83 experimental kits were lent to these 11 Pollen schools, indicating that in at least 83 classes, inquiry-based science education was being implemented. In 2008, 12 new schools were involved. In these classes, IBSE is taught 4 hours per week.

Outstanding experience in training and know-how transfer

Within Pollen und TuWaS!, a total number 124 teachers have been trained. These teachers were trained to teach up to four different topics, which include “Chemical Tests”, “Motion & Design”, “Electrical Circuits”, Microworlds”, and “Solids & Liquids”. These teacher trainings lasted a day from 9 am to 4 pm.

Official link with a national or regional institution of reference working in science education

The Freie Universität Berlin trains pre-service teachers for primary and secondary schools. Our teacher trainings are known and approved by LISUM, the official post-service training institute of Berlin. FUB also has good contacts with the Berlin Senate Department of Education which helped to extend Pollen to the TuWaS! schools.