From July 13 to 15 the “Learning through Research” workshop took place in Paris, organized by the CRI, the French Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity. As an undergraduate student at this center, I was able to attend and joined the MyScienceWork team, in charge of the 2.0 communication of the event. From serious games to innovative educational practices, via citizen science and online universities, all the keywords of scientific innovation came from the mouths of the charismatic speakers, real changemakers, elaborating models for the education of tomorrow.
This article is a translation of “NightScience : pour une révolution de l'éducation” available at: http://blog.mysciencework.com/2012/07/27/nightscience-pour-une-revolution-de-l%E2%80%99education.html
Overview of the workshop
On Friday, the opening day, we had the chance to listen to the great names of the scientific world: Lee Hartwell, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2001), Stephen Friend, Sage Bionetworks’ President, Claudie Haigneré, President of Universcience, Natalie Kuldell, MIT teacher, and François Taddei, Director of the Inserm laboratory at the CRI. I expected a lot from this workshop after enjoying such a promising introduction. Indeed, on Saturday, almost thirty speakers succeeded each other in the lecture hall of the Cochin Medical Campus. It was an intense day during which some speakers particularly struck me: Melissa McCartney, from Science, who wants to make scientific papers accessible to students through digital tools; James Carey from the University of California, for his innovative educational practice; or James Carlson, founder of the SchoolFactory.
A surprising fact was that, even though most of the speakers had never met before the workshop, many presentations conveyed the same ideas: “Internet and new technologies are going to transform both education and research”, “Learning is not necessarily about going to school”, “Scientific discovery games do work, and researchers can rely on that citizen science”, “Another way of learning is possible”… These ideas echo the CRI values.
The CRI, Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity
The CRI is a place where people can meet and exchange views on research, science and education. It offers the Frontiers in Life Sciences (FDV, in French) undergraduate program, the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life Science (AIV) master’s program (Approche Interdisciplinaire du Vivant), and the doctoral-level FDV, respectively directed by François Taddei, Ariel Lidner and Samuel Bottani. An Inserm laboratory dealing with aging can also be found here.
In September 2012, this center will become the Institute for Innovating Teaching through Research (in French, IIFR). The workshop was organized in order to inaugurate this IIFR and reflect on its new programs: a master, a DU (French University Degree) and a doctoral program.
Yes, even workshops are innovative at the CRI! This is why all the speakers were invited to help design these programs, in small groups. I participated in the discussion about the Executive Program, the aim of which is for students to learn how to teach. I shared my vision of what would be a perfect class, and debated the way the course should be organized.
Toward a student-centrism?
To conclude the day, we were all given the opportunity to share what we had learnt from the workshop. I particularly enjoyed the comment of François Grey, President of Citizen Cyberscience Centre: “Yesterday was July 14, the day of commemoration of the French Revolution, symbolized by the storming of the Bastille. But science has also experienced great revolutions, such as with Copernicus and his heliocentric theory. Today we might be going through a revolution in the field of education as well: students might no longer gravitate around teachers; instead teachers may start gravitating around students.”
We invite you to watch the video of the event produced by MyScienceWork, to discover the atmosphere of this exciting workshop and get to know the distinguished speakers who shared with us over these three days their dream of building a new model for the education of the youth of tomorrow.
About the author : Fanny Bernardon
After obtaining a scientific baccalaureate (French school-leaving certificate), I joined the first class of the undergraduate FDV program at Paris Descartes University, at the CRI. This stimulating environment allowed me to become familiar with the topics related to research and education that fascinate me. I also had the opportunity to co-found the science journalism club, NakedScience.
MMORPG Players and Social Sciences http://blog.mysciencework.com/en/2012/09/10/mmorpg-players-and-social-sciences.html
At Mothership HackerMoms, the Freedom to be Empowered http://blog.mysciencework.com/en/2012/09/12/at-mothership-hackermoms-the-freedom-to-be-empowered.html
Find out more:
Night Science http://www.nightscience.org/
Our Storify, to relive the event http://storify.com/mysciencework/nightscience-learning-through-research-the14th-of/preview