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The ORBIT project develops an “Open Resource Bank for Interactive Teaching” (ORBIT) (and an associated programme) to promote interactive teaching for primary and secondary schools. ORBIT is aimed at use in formal HE teaching (PGCE), use in training schools and by teacher mentors, as well as continuing professional development for in-service teachers. ORBIT makes existing higher education expertise on teacher education as widely available as possible to other teacher education providers both within HE and otherwise, through

  • ensuring that relevant and high quality resources from existing and disappearing collections (both produced within HEIs and by practitioners) are made openly available to the teacher education and school teacher communities,
  • developing additional materials where these are needed to fill gaps, and
  • contributing to broad collaboration and synergy in OER on teacher education, both within the UK, and between the UK and other countries, such as the United States.

The Open Resource Bank on Interactive Teaching (ORBIT) supports teaching and learning in a significant part of an initial teacher education course, such as an HE-based 1-year PGCE course in primary education or secondary mathematics or science (or a school-based training programme), primarily focusing on interactive teaching in these two subject areas. Mathematics and science are key curriculum subjects and a focus in this area fits well with the government's current prioritisation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). The ORBIT focusses on practical aspects of interactive teaching and enquiry-based learning, illustrating pedagogical principles through concrete lesson plans and ideas. The ORBIT materials are hands-on, presenting actual activities within lessons as the primary building blocks, with theoretical ideas embedded within these blocks. We seek to make this particular approach – a hallmark of effective teacher education – more accessible and tangible. Within ORBIT, there is also a significant focus on the use of ICT within the subject teaching of mathematics and science, which is an important emerging area, and one which is notoriously lacking in effective pedagogical support.

The ORBIT Resource Bank is available here. You can also follow us on twitter (#ORBITSTEM). For further information, contact Björn Haßler or Sara Hennessy.