Lifelong Learning Programme

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Relevant initiatives

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Title of Initiative / Project
SINUS - A trademark for improving mathematics and science education in Germany
Name of Organiser
Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Start and ending date of the Initiative
2003 - ongoing
Was the initiative carried out in the framework of a funded project?
Type of deliverables
Didactical resource
Thematic area
Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Biology, Science
Language of the deliverable
Other EU, English
Target Group
Description of the initiative
With this programme, improvement in the quality of education was to be initiated, tested and finally systematically spread on a scientific basis. The aim of the SINUS Transfer programme was to improve the competence in both mathematics and science subjects by disseminating the results of the SINUS programme on a much larger scale. Cooperation amongst teachers played an exceptional role in the SINUS programme. Teachers in regional associations of schools (school groups) improved their teaching methods considerably. Review and evaluation of their own math and science lessons was the key focus of the project. The school groups received both advice and practical support from coordinators, who worked in close cooperation both at the state and federal levels.
The programme offers eleven modules, from which the schools or school networks can choose. The modules give a detailed description of the problems which may arise in math and science lessons and suggest how to deal with them. In applying these modules, the schools should consider their specific local and regional conditions.
More Information
The SINUS project is focused mainly on teachers and the development of their professional knowledge and skills for improving their pedagogical practices when teaching science. The project offer free access to educational content (modules): as well as free access to documents specifically for improving teaching in math:
Teachers’ Opinion
It is really helpful to be able to improve your own teaching experiences by learning in a convenient and easily accessible environment. The modules for teachers are very well designed and it covers all necessary topics for teachers’ pedagogical practices improved: cumulative learning, interdisciplinary working, motivating students, cooperative learning, etc.
Students’ Opinion
The materials offered at this website are not for students.

Comments on this Relevant initiatives

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Date: 2015.03.01

Posted by Veronica Del Bene (Italy)

SINUS (extensively tested in Germany) is a significant initiative that promotes a reversal of school science-teaching pedagogy from mainly deductive to inquiry-based methods and the development of teachers’ networks in order to improve the quality of their teaching and support their motivation. A central server ( contains materials for teachers and promotes a wide range of practices including problem-based activities, hands-on/mind-on and group projects. You can find several didactical and methodical suggestions as well as practical experiences to design a teaching unit with innovative approach. As regards mathematics, I completely agree with basic guiding principles of SINUS project: (i) less focus on passing factual knowledge to students, more focus on independent problem solving; (ii) less focus on mere computing and manipulating formulas, more focus on understanding; (iii) not only focus on acquiring particular math skills and results, but also focus on the necessary learning processes and strategies. The implementation of these guiding principles leads to an experimental access to mathematics. The philosophy of didactical activities proposed by SINUS project is “Don’t preach facts, stimulate acts”. This means to encourage students to develop their own informal methods for doing mathematics. If learning is to be successful, the students must be able to tie their own think-nets, they must get the chance to go individual ways in their learning process.
Materials developed by SINUS teachers fascinate me because they try to combine real-life knowledge with mathematical knowledge. They are based on realistic problems instead of mechanical computing and create situations that allow an active engagement by students, a vivid discourse among students about analyzing, solving, interpreting a problem, encouragement of students to generate questions and generalizations of their own, the insight that mathematics is a stimulating and challenging discipline (e.g. “The surface of the golfball consists of a grid of hexagons. What does this mean?”).


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.