A science teacher’s professional development project focusing on teaching design
Kariotoglou P., Avgitidou S., Dimitriadou C., Malandrakis G., Papadopoulou P., Pnevmatikos D. & Spyrtou, A
Greek students’ science learning is not adequate as is verified by national PISA science scores. A major factor influencing students’ achievement might be the design and implementation of school science teaching, which is strongly affected by science teachers’ professional skills. Instead of designing their teaching based on students’ needs and characteristics, science teachers just follow the directions given through school textbooks or the respective teachers’ guide in everyday practice. Moreover, their instruction is mainly focused on the teaching of concepts and phenomena rather than on the processes of scientific knowledge acquisition. In order to broaden in-service teachers’ teaching views and practices, we designed and implemented a research and developmental project: The Science Teachers’ Education program (STED). This project studies the conditions and the prerequisites of teachers’ professional development on designing science teaching, expanding their way of thinking and acting within an innovative class setting. The implementation of the project is running in three strands: one for pre-school teachers, one for primary teachers and one for outdoor education. The latter includes both primary and secondary teachers. Some design key principles that guide this project and its implementation are presented in this paper. Since the program is still in progress, only some initial results are discussed.
Keywords: Professional Development, Teaching Learning Sequences (TLS), Science Teachers
Science teachers’ profile changes concerning non-formal education design
Tsaliki C., Malandrakis G., Zoupidis A., Karnezou M.,& Kariotoglou P
The present study is part of a larger professional development (PD) program regarding in-service science teachers’ education (STED), and focuses on changes in teachers’ profile regarding the organization, implementation and evaluation of visits to out-of-school contexts in science teaching. A mixed group approach was adopted, engaging two primary and two secondary teachers, in order to record changes in teachers’ profiles along with the identification and conceptualization of common factors and conditions affecting these changes. The program consists of three phases, and changes in teachers’ profile were captured using multiple data sources. During second phase an inquiry-based teaching learning sequence (TLS) was introduced, including a science and technology site visit. The TLS was modified by teachers to better meet their students’ specific needs and fit into the particular time limits. After TLS implementation, changes towards a less teacher centered and more guided inquiry-teaching approach were tracked. For example, in primary school, students had more space to make the synopsis and the control of the initial hypothesis, while secondary teachers shifted from the demonstration of experiments to more active students’ engagement to them. Although teachers had some experience in site visits, after the PD program they exhibit more positive attitude towards the non-formal settings of science teaching, and this is more apparent for secondary teachers. Moreover, although almost all teachers initially referred to structural and economic difficulties as main obstacles in organizing site visits, after the PD program they stress the learning effects of such teaching approaches, emphasizing on the quality of produced learning. Substantial changes in their views and practices were also noticed, while teachers appreciated the importance of preparing activities not only during, but also before after the site visit. However, they realize the organization of effective site visits as an additional teaching workload, preventing its regular implementation.
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