Section archive - Professional Development
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What about Language While Equitably Assessing Science?: Case Studies of Preservice Teachers’ Evolving Expertise
The goal of this article was to explore the ways in which language played a role in the teachers’ evolving expertise and enactment of equitable science assessment. The findings revealed that the teachers became more knowledgeable about the role of language in assessment and incorporated scientific discourse while assessing in their teaching practicum. Yet, the teachers did not adopt a permanent and individualized stance toward how to address language while assessing, instead straddling opposing decisions. The author referred to this straddling as a “tension.” Two tensions emerged.
Updated: Nov. 04, 2014
This article examined the question What are the effective teaching characteristics of non-traditional, culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) student teachers placed in rural, elementary schools with high populations of Latino/a students? Findings from this study reflected highly consistent and effective teaching characteristics of the CLD teacher candidates completing a distance-delivered teacher preparation program in remote, rural areas. Discussion as to what teacher education program attributes contributed to their development of effective teaching attributes was offered, with culturally responsive supports, like instructional mediators, personal instructor/leadership caring, and a sense of community among students and teachers, noted.
Updated: Sep. 15, 2014
Investigating Teacher Efficacy: Comparing Preservice and Inservice Teachers with Different Levels of Experience
This research examined differences in the levels of domain-specific and general efficacy across groups of preservice and inservice teachers. The participants divided into four classifications: the preservice teacher—prior, preservice teacher – post, novice teacher and experienced teacher. The findings revealed that experienced teachers held the highest general teaching efficacy as well as the highest efficacy with regards to domain-specific areas such as student engagement and classroom management.
Updated: Aug. 27, 2014
This article presents a study, which examined the effectiveness of a specially designed intervention on chemical changes. The participants were one hundred and thirty Greek primary school teachers. The results show that pre-intervention, teachers were found to have a relatively limited ability in explaining chemical changes. The teachers also held a number of misconceptions similar to those of pupils. Post-intervention, teachers’ descriptions and explanations were found to be significantly improved. However, post-intervention, teachers seemed better able to manage the combustion of hydrogen and the heating of sugar, than the burning candle which had been studied in the course.
Updated: Aug. 17, 2014
In this article, the author argues that there is a lack of research into the role of the facilitator of discussions of video for professional development. A key purpose of this article is to expose aspects of the role of the facilitator of teacher learning, not reported in previous research in the use of video. Hence, the author documents research he undertook into the use of video as a tool for teacher learning. In analysing empirical data from one school, he suggests five key aspects or decision points in working with teachers on video: selecting a video clip, setting up the discussion norms, re-watching the video, moving to interpretation, and metacommenting. The author argues that having presented key aspects of the role of the facilitator of video use, a further look at the detail of the data from discussions serves to highlight some of the complexities involved in just one of the categories.
Updated: Jul. 08, 2014
In this article, the authors refer to the discussion of appropriate methods for researching professional development. They extend this discussion by observing that randomized trials of specific professional development programs have not enhanced our knowledge of effective program characteristics, leaving practitioners without guidance with regard to best practices. In response, the authors propose that scholars should execute more rigorous comparisons of professional development designs at the initial stages of program development and use information derived from these studies to build a professional knowledge base.
Updated: Jun. 25, 2014
Are We Asking the Right Questions?: A Conceptual Review of the Educational Development Literature in Higher Education
This is a conceptual review of the literature variously referred to as faculty development, educational development, instructional development, and academic development in higher education. The authors used different questions that queried the nature of educational development practice and the thinking underlying practice. This six-cluster framework provides a new way of thinking about the design of practice and a more meaningful basis for investigating the effectiveness of educational development practice.
Updated: May. 25, 2014
Crossing the Border from Science Student to Science Teacher: Preservice Teachers’ Views and Experiences Learning to Teach Inquiry
This study investigated preservice science teachers’ successes and struggles in moving back and forth across the cultural border between science student and inquiry-oriented science teacher. The participants were eight preservice science teacher participants were enrolled in a small, post-baccalaureate teacher education program in Southern California. The authors conducted two types of qualitative analyses. One, they grouped their preservice teacher participants into one of four types of potential science teachers. Two, they identified successes and struggles in preservice teachers’ attempts to negotiate the cultural border between veteran student and beginning teacher. They found that preservice teachers were willing and interested in teaching science as inquiry.
Updated: May. 14, 2014
The Impact of Professional Development on Elementary Teachers’ Strategies for Teaching Science with Diverse Student Groups in Urban Elementary Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine teachers’ reported instructional strategies for promoting science learning while supporting English language development during science instruction with diverse student groups, especially English Language Learners (ELLs), in urban elementary schools. The findings reveal that teachers across three grade levels consistently indicated similar strategies to promote science learning, such as making connections to prior knowledge or real world experiences and engaging in hands-on activities. However, teachers at all three grade levels did not report more sophisticated inquiry-based strategies. Although the reported strategies were similar in frequency across grade levels, there were significant differences among grade level and by years of teacher participation.
Updated: May. 12, 2014
Opportunities for Teacher Learning During Enactment of Inquiry Science Curriculum Materials: Exploring the Potential for Teacher Educative Materials
The work of this study examines the process of interacting with materials and students while thinking about teaching in order to guide curriculum material designers’ thinking about when and how materials might be helpful for teachers. The study followed a seventh-grade science teacher, who enacted five inquiry-based science units with all 5 of her seventh-grade science classes over a 2-year period. The findings describe the teacher’s interactions with materials written to support teachers learning to teach inquiry science. Findings indicate that this teacher’s ideas developed as she interacted with materials and her students. Information about student ideas, task and idea-specific support, and model teacher language was most helpful.
Updated: Apr. 30, 2014