Research, monitoring and dissemination
In line with its objective of improving and innovating science teaching practices in the classroom, the Fondation La main à la pâte takes part in research activities in the fields of learning, scientific reasoning and teaching. At the same time, it monitors and disseminates the results of research in these areas to teachers in order to enhance their knowledge and their science teaching practices.
Advancing science teaching methods in the classroom
The Foundation regularly participates in national and international research programmes and think tanks, which aim to contribute to the advancement of knowledge useful to education, and to the concrete translation of this knowledge into teaching practice. In 2013, it participated in the National Research Agency (ANR) project, FORMSCIENCES, on "Training school teachers to teach science through the investigative approach". Since 2019, the Foundation has been participating in a national scientific research project on Critical Thinking Education, which aims to identify effective strategies for the development of critical thinking and dedicated evaluation tools, in order to be able to measure the progress of students in the acquisition of new skills and attitudes in this area.
In addition, in order to encourage applied research in education, the Fondation La main à la pâte regularly welcomes thesis and master's students whose research work is related to this field.
Providing teachers with insights from scientific research
In addition to producing ready to use resources, and supporting and offering training to teachers to help them appropriate scientific thematics for teaching in class, the Foundation strives to provide them with cross-cutting insights to support them in their approach to teaching science in the classroom, particularly with regard to understanding the way pupils learn.
Through its monitoring and dissemination activities, the Foundation disseminates to teachers the knowledge of scientific research related to science learning and education:
- The Science and Critical Thinking website provides teachers with resources to equip them with solid foundations from research in cognitive sciences and education to design a scientific teaching of critical thinking.
- The Synapses website is dedicated to contributions from the field of cognitive and learning sciences. The website is intended to be a place for exchanges between researchers and education stakeholders. The idea is that the knowledge gained from research can serve as a compass for teaching practice, and useful to inspire applied research.
Using scientific evidence for resources production
In the context of its production of resources for the classroom and for training, the Fondation La main à la pâte relies on the best available knowledge on learning, educational practices and the cognitive functioning of learners. It also implements evaluation actions, relying on external evaluators who provide guarantees of independence, to assess its actions and help them evolve. As part of the training activities provided by the "Maisons pour la science", whose network the Foundation coordinates, annual evaluations are carried out to measure the quality of the activities proposed and their impact on teachers and their pupils.