4 research outputs found

    Collaborative Partnerships : A Model for Science Teacher Education and Professional Development

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    This paper proposes a collaborative partnership between practicing and pre-service teachers as a model for implementing science teacher education and professional development. This model provides a structure within which partnerships will work collaboratively to plan, implement and reflect on a series of Science lessons in cycles of action-reflection adapted from Korthagen’s (2001) ALACT model. Issues within Science education, teacher professional development and teacher education are considered in the development of the model which attempts to deepen constructivist approaches to teachers’ professional learning. It attempts to address issues with teacher professional development in the science area and improve professional experience practice for pre-service teachers. The nexus between theory and practice is the focus of the model which hopes to inform both teacher education and professional development for science teachers in the primary sector

    Re-engaging students in their learning through middle-school reform: A case study evalution of a vertically structured curriculum

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    The phrase 'middle schooling' refers to the school setting for adolescent students generally between the ages of 11 and 15 years of age (Lawton, 1999). This period of time has been recognized on a national level as being particularly significant in education. A call for reform in upper primary and lower secondary to address the understanding of adolescents in a complex and changing society has been recognized publicly at a federal and state level (Lawton, 1999). This research evaluates the redesign of one middle school's structure through the implementation of a vertical curriculum in a catholic secondary college in a country town. The program has been in place for three years in the college and the need to evaluate it takes on significance for the college itself, and the wider educational community who have been discussing and researching middle school curriculum design for a number of years. Research methodology takes the form of attitudinal questionnaires administered to parents, students and staff in the college. Quantitative analysis using descriptive statistics is used for closed questions to look for significant differences between the parent, student and teacher attitude towards the philosophy and delivery of the vertical structure. One-way ANOVA and MANOVA analysis revealed that parents, students and staff were all supportive of the new structure and its driving philosophies, although parents scored significantly higher on the scales examined than staff or students. Correlations and Chi Square analysis were applied to selected scales, revealing overall that the outcomes of the vertical curriculum are being met. A number of areas were also identified as needing improvement, with areas of emphasis differing for the parent, staff and student groups in the community

    Collaborative partnerships: A model of professional learning in primary science for practising and preservice teachers

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    This study explores collaborative partnerships between practising and preservice teachers as a model of primary science teacher professional learning. Thirteen volunteer preservice teacher participants from a 3rd year core Science Education unit in a Bachelor of Education course from a regional university were partnered with eight practising teacher volunteers from primary schools in the regional centre in which the university was situated. Partners planned, implemented and reflected on a series of science lessons using the 5Es framework (Australian Academy of Science, 2009) adapted from Bybee (1997). Partners were encouraged to integrate other areas of the curriculum into their science lessons where appropriate. A model of reflective practice informed by Korthagen's (2001) Action, Looking back on the action, Awareness of essential aspects, Creation of alternative actions, and Trialling of the new action (ALACT) model was used to guide partners' reflection and subsequent planning of lessons. Data collection was achieved through a variety of methods including round table and online discussions with and between preservice teachers throughout the partnership period; semi-structured interviews with practising teachers after the partnership period; a variety of qualitative data collected at initial and final partnership workshops; and quantitative data collected through initial and final participant questionnaires which included the STEBI-A and STEBI-B instruments developed by Enochs and Riggs (1990). Findings revealed that six out of eight partnerships achieved medium to strong collaboration, while two partnerships had little to no collaboration between preservice and practising teachers. Where collaboration was achieved, the experience was effective in building preservice teacher efficacy and confidence to teach science.;These partnerships also provided valuable experience for preservice teachers to observe and teach science which was lacking in their previous professional experience teaching rounds. Some content and pedagogical knowledge development was also evident, particularly from those preservice teachers who were involved in collaborative partnerships. Guided reflection in expert facilitated round table discussions also appeared essential in forming the theory-practice nexus that helped preservice teachers develop knowledge of science teaching. Practising teachers who lacked confidence in their knowledge of science and belief in their ability to teach it also experienced growth in efficacy and knowledge of science and its teaching. Teachers who already had strong science knowledge and teaching efficacy did not appear to experience knowledge growth, but did gain enhanced ideas and approaches to teaching science. The more formal the reflection conducted between partners, the more practising teachers appeared to benefit overall. It was also identified through the findings that time for organisation and accessing appropriate resources were significant issues in teachers' sense of their ability to teach science more often. Confidence and background knowledge were also identified as barriers for increased science teaching in schools. In spite of this all preservice teachers indicated a strong desire to include science in their teaching frequently as a result of their experience in this project. These findings suggest that professional learning in science education can be achieved for both practising and preservice teachers when they work together in collaborative partnerships to plan and reflect on a series of science lessons that are implemented in an authentic classroom setting

    Teacher education policy and practice: Evidence of impact, impact of evidence

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    This volume addresses both 'evidence of impact' and 'impact of evidence' to reveal the complex dialogue between the enterprise of teacher education and evidence of its effects in the early 21st century, taking a critical position on the very notions of 'evidence' and 'impact' that underpin contemporary policy frameworks. Teacher education programs in Australia and internationally are challenged by contemporary policy frameworks to demonstrate evidence of the impact they have on the capacity of graduating teachers to act with confidence and competence in school and early childhood education classrooms. At the same time, the field of teacher education is increasingly working to build a robust platform of research evidence that speaks to these policy frameworks and to broader issues concerning the role of teaching and teacher education in society
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