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Projects from the Global Initiative

BIOED 2000: CHALLENGE OF BIODIVERSITY EDUCATION

Goal

By the year 2003, the Commission for Biological Education of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS-CBE) is to provide and assist in the implementation of a series of web-based science education modules for informal and formal science venues based on the emerging biological theme, "Biodiversity".

Specific objectives of the programme

This proposal is to develop a multiple-part programme in biological education around the integrative content theme of biodiversity. The programme is to reflect the principles derived from the Bio-Ed 2000 Conference held May 15-18 in Paris and to take advantage of the development and progress made by the DIVERSITAS Programme and within the framework of IBOY (International Biodiversity Observation Year - 2001-2002). Partnerships are to be developed with UNESCO and identified funding groups (government and private) to identify and develop 5-10 member States as active nodes for implementation and adaptation of this biodiversity programme for specific regions. A programme for evaluation of programme effectiveness is to be included. This is to be a project that reflects collaboration between biological-science educators, biology teachers and science researchers (as is seen within the membership of the IUBS-CBE) in order to formulate a quality science programme on biodiversity that is learner centred, teacher-friendly and available for global citizens.

Web-based materials, kits and technology guidelines for three educational venues are to be developed:

  • University sites for students who potentially are teachers of biodiversity
  • Schools where biodiversity is taught
  • Informal sites (museums, aquariums, etc) for public understanding of biodiversity

Projected timetable

A planned 18 months of research to collate existing programmes, design the programme, identify funding agencies for implementation, identify the representatives of UNESCO member States, expand the science and education leadership to address the three educational venues, and formulate the technological network of learners necessary to implement and sustain the programme. These activities will be reported in a synthesis meeting of these persons to establish:

  1. Agreement on education and science objectives;
  2. Time course and partnerships for implementation;
  3. Needs and funding for the objectives.

Funding is to be sought to fund the Executive Committee of CBE, and identified leadership creating the materials and advising the project, and representatives of the identified member States. Seattle, Washington, Paris, France, and Cape Town, South Africa, are being considered as sites for this meeting, and the final decision will depend on available funds.

A second 18 months is to bring together a larger group from the member States along with those who have been identified with research outcomes from the project, and the members of the Commission for Biological Education members. This meeting will serve for presentations of the results, the programme, and the guidelines and the evaluation process. Brazil or Costa Rica are being considered as venues for this meeting, and the final decision will depend on facilities and support available. This meeting should be held during the year 2003. By 2004, materials are to be delivered and in use by the member countries. At that time, funds are to be sought to send implementation teams for teacher enhancement and evaluation of programmes in the participating States.

Evaluation

A central element of this programme is that a schedule for evaluation of this IUBS-CBE initiative be developed at the beginning of the planning programme and attention to the outcomes of these evaluations be incorporated by consensus of the Executive Committee. This programme is to include opportunities for reflection on formative evaluation during the development in order for the programme developers and implementers to make the necessary corrections during the course of the program. It is proposed that the final evaluation of learning outcomes be developed for web-based delivery from the nodes of operation. Full development of the technologies necessary for adequate communication between the developing groups is central to this IUBS-CBE programme, and is to reflect the centrality of the principles of the IUBS-CBE operative guidelines.

For comments and interest:

Dr. Talal Younès
Executive Director, IUBS
ty002@dial.oleane.com
and/or
Prof. André Giordan
Chairman IUBS- CBE
giordan@uni2a.unige.ch
Prof. Patricia Morse
Vice-Chair, IUBS- CBE
mpmorse@u.washington.edu
Dr. Faquir Vohra
Secretary General
IUBS-CBE
r-vohra@nwu.edu

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme