European Schoolnet, the network of 34 European Ministries of education based in Brussels, in going to select 12 secondary school biology teachers (teaching to students over 12 years of age) to involve in the 3Rs project, lasting from June 2019 to February 2020.
The project 3Rs is carried out in collaboration with SYRCLE – Systematic Review Center for Laboratory Animal Experimentation and ECORYS, an international society providing research, consultancy and management services. 3Rs aims to develop and transfer in the class a series of learning activities through which students can reflect on animal experimentation.
The principle of 3Rs from which the project takes its name was introduced in 1959 by THE British academics Russel and Burch. 3R is the acronym of Replacement (replacing animal experimentation with alternative models and methods, when possible), Reduction (reducing the number of animals used to the minimum number) and Refinement (continuous improvement of the experimental methods in use, in order to achieve maximum reduction of animal suffering).
The project 3Rs aims to integrate the reflections on experimentation and animal well-being in secondary school curricula, to help students to open up to this theme and get an interest in scientific ethics, while at the same time enhancing critical thinking and scientific competences.
After having built the learning units teachers will have to propose them in the class and measure their impact on students. They will also have to support the project through webinars, social media and creation of videos or articles and participate in two workshops in Brussels (one between June and July and the other one in September). Activities are going to end with an online course hosted on the platform of European Schoolnet Academy.
Among the requirements, besides of course being biology teachers with a basic knowledge of experimental and laboratory methods, there is willingness to speak on video, ability to develop engaging teaching materials for students, good knowledge of the English language, holding good organisational and ICT competences and not least a serious interest in animals and their well-being.
The teachers selected will receive, besides cash contribution, the opportunity to be part of a vast European project and be formed in the innovative Future Classroom Lab in Brussels.
The deadline for the applications is 31 May 2019. European Schoolnet is going to carry out a preselection that will be then validated by the ministry of Education of each country. The selected teachers will be informed via email by 10 June.