London Metropolitan University Research Institutes
 

 

INSPIRE. An evaluation of the INSPIRE project

Funder

Imperial College

Timescale

September 2008 - September 2009

Overview

IPSE was commissioned by Imperial College, London to conduct an evaluation of the INSPIRE scheme.

INSPIRE (Innovative Scheme for Postgraduates in Research and Education) is a full-time 9-month programme offering seven months PGCE combined with two months of INSPIRE activities (master classes, science clubs, workshops, demonstration lectures, university visits, etc.) to Post-Docs in the physical sciences.

The aims of this scheme were to:

  • Raise the profile and importance of science and science teaching,
  • Improve achievement in science and the numbers qualified in this subject,
  • Increase in the number of qualified science teachers with high academic ability and direct experience of scientific research,
  • Strengthen the link between schools and universities,
  • Enthuse young people in science,
  • Increase awareness of science-based career opportunities.

In line with these objectives, the evaluation addressed the following research questions:

  • Does the programme contribute to raising the profile of science teaching and increasing the number of qualified science teachers with high academic ability and direct experience of scientific research?
  • How does the programme contribute to raising the profile of science, enthusing young people towards science and increasing awareness of science-based career opportunities in participating schools?
  • How does the programme improve achievement in science and the numbers qualified in this subject in the participating schools?
  • How does the programme contribute to strengthening the links between the schools involved and universities (in particular Imperial College)?
  • Does the programme benefit particular groups of pupils (i.e. in terms of gender, ethnicity, social class, age group and level of achievement)?

In addition, the evaluation also explored the following research questions:

  • What are the major benefits brought about by the INSPIRE programme for INSPIRE Post-Docs, staff in participating schools, and pupils?
  • How do these groups suggest the programme could be improved?

The evaluation focused particularly on aspects of the scheme that made it different to other routes into teaching: the emphasis on practising post-doctoral scientists, the school-based science enrichment activities (INSPIRE activities) and the links with Imperial College.

Drawing on a qualitative approach, our analyses was based on data collected through four major strands:

  • Interviews with key INSPIRE staff
  • Observation of training sessions
  • Observations and interviews with all INSPIRE teachers
  • School case studies

The project outcome included an end of year report. 

Publications

 

Project team

Sarah Minty

Marie-Pierre Moreau

Contact






 

   Company Information    Page last updated 09 March 2010     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)