|The University of Cyprus (UCY) was established in 1989 and received its first students in 1992. It now includes five Schools (School of Letters, School of Economics and Business Administration, School of Humanities, School of Natural Sciences and the School of Engineering) and sixteen departments. UCY offers undergraduate and graduate programs (Masters and PhD), and has around 4000 undergraduate 1000 graduate students, and 450 faculty members.All departments are active in research and there are very strong links that facilitate close collaboration between the University and many sectors of the Government of Cyprus.|
The Department of Educational Sciences at the University of Cyprus is a large department with 35 members of the faculty, and 35 associate or assistant personnel. There are two undergraduate (primary and pre-school education) programs and four postgraduate programs at the Masters and PhD level (Learning in Science, Mathematics Education, Educational Administration and Psychology). Science Education has four members of the faculty who are active in research into conceptual models, epistemology, alternative conceptions and conceptual understanding.
The Learning in Science Group (LSG) in the Department of Educational Sciences at the University of Cyprus conducts a co-ordinated program of research, curriculum development and instruction. Directed by Dr. Costas Constantinou, the group includes faculty, research associates, graduate students and a small administrative staff. Graduate students in the group select science and technology education as their field of research for the PhD degree in Learning Sciences. The Group is currently engaged in three major projects: preparation of future teachers to teach science and technology as socially relevant processes of inquiry; developing support and motivation mechanisms for achieving improvement of student learning in science; integration of information and communication tools in innovative learning environments. Through in-depth investigations of student understanding, the group seeks to identify and analyze common difficulties that students encounter in their effort to construct meaning in science and to develop the reasoning, investigative and communication skills that are important in decision making situations. Computer based tools are incorporated into these activities both as investigatory probes and as instructional media. The Group has a lot of experience with evaluating the development of students’ reasoning and scientific method skills. Finally, the Group is taking a leadership role in the efforts of the University of Cyprus to implement its eLearning strategy through a series of pilot projects.