Building future directions for teacher learning in science education

Kathy Smith, Simon Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 2013, as part of a process to renew an overall sector vision for science education, Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) undertook a review of its existing teacher in-service professional development programs in science. This review led to some data analysis being conducted in relation to two of these programs where participant teachers were positioned as active learners undertaking critical reflection in relation to their science teaching practice. The
conditions in these programs encouraged teachers to notice critical aspects of their teaching practice. The analysis illustrates that as teachers worked in this way, their understandings about effective science pedagogy began to shift, in particular, teachers recognised how their thinking not only influenced their professional practice but also ultimately shaped the quality of their students’ learning. The data from these programs delivers compelling evidence of the
learning experience from a teacher perspective. This article explores the impact of this experience on teacher thinking about the relationship between pedagogical choices and quality learning in science. The findings highlight that purposeful, teacher-centred in-service professional learning can significantly contribute to enabling teachers to think differently about science teaching and learning and ultimately become confident pedagogical leaders in science.
The future of quality school-based science education therefore relies on a new vision for teacher professional learning, where practice explicitly recognises, values and attends to teachers as professionals and supports them to articulate and share the professional knowledge they have about effective science teaching practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-261
Number of pages19
JournalResearch in Science Education
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • teacher professional learning
  • science education
  • effective pedagogy
  • teacher thinking
  • student learning
  • pedagogical leadership
  • teacher professional knowledge
  • cases as data
  • teaching science

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