The Professional Learning of Teachers of Science

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Teacher Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 1413

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sheffield Institute of Education Centre for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
Interests: teachers; professional development; professional learning; early career teachers; mid-career teachers; stem subjects

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sheffield Institute of Education Centre for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
Interests: sustainability and climate change in education; mid-career teachers; professional learning

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sheffield Institute of Education Centre for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
Interests: teacher professional learning; STEM teaching and learning; social learning theories

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Science teaching encompasses multiple disciplines, interactions between different forms of knowledge, and diverse pedagogies, including hands-on practical activities. Pupils bring to their learning multiple and alternative conceptions about natural phenomena, the role of science in today’s society, and scientific careers [1]. Teachers often lack confidence in teaching some or all areas of the subject, deriving from their backgrounds in other subject areas or from the interactions of science with other subject areas [2]. While many aspects of teacher professional development, such as its content and delivery model, have been well-researched [3,4], we lack an understanding of how teachers of science, who have varying professional knowledge, backgrounds and epistemological perspectives, engage with and learn from professional development activities.

This Special Issue explores how professional development supports in-service teachers of science working with children of all ages and in jurisdictions around the world. In many jurisdictions, governments invest in professional learning initiatives for in-service teachers of science, while national, regional and local providers offer professional development within, between and outside schools [5]. Meanwhile, teachers increasingly engage online with informal and formal professional learning activities [6]. 

Multiple perspectives exist on the purpose and definition of professional development and professional learning [7]. We take a broad view, including intentional, formal and informal processes and activities that aim to enhance the professional knowledge, skills and attitudes of teachers. Some professional development activities aim to align teachers’ practice with government-endorsed reforms or particular views of evidence [8]. Others intend to support the building of teachers’ confidence and self-efficacy, their identities as teachers or to facilitate enquiries into practice [9,10].

Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods studies of innovative approaches to the professional development and learning of teachers of science, such as their effectiveness, delivery models, content and leadership.
  2. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods studies of the professional development and learning of teachers of science, which describe their impacts, such as their outcomes relating to teachers’ practice, their feelings about their practice, career progression and retention, and the wider impacts on their schools.
  3. Comparative studies that compare and contrast different aspects of the professional development of teachers of science and their outcomes, such as comparison of different science subjects, countries, teacher specialisms, age phases, or models of professional learning.
  4. Policy studies of national, regional or local approaches to the professional development of teachers of science, such as those aimed at addressing teachers’ subject knowledge and confidence, teacher specialisation and retention.
  5. Reviews of research and theoretical perspectives on the professional learning of teachers of science from varying backgrounds, contexts or perspectives.

References

  1. Taber, K.S. Multiple Frameworks?: Evidence of Manifold Conceptions in Individual Cognitive Structure. International Journal of Science Education 2000, 22, 399–417, doi:10.1080/095006900289813.
  2. Maeng, J.L.; Whitworth, B.A.; Bell, R.L.; Sterling, D.R. The Effect of Professional Development on Elementary Science Teachers’ Understanding, Confidence, and Classroom Implementation of Reform-Based Science Instruction. Science Education 2020, 104, 326–353, doi:10.1002/sce.21562.
  3. Cordingley, P.; Higgins, S.; Greany, T.; Buckler, N.; Colds-Jordan, D.; Crisp, B. Developing Great Teaching: Lessons from the International Reviews into Effective Professional Development; Teacher Development Trust: London, UK, 2015;
  4. Kennedy, M.M. How Does Professional Development Improve Teaching? Review of Educational Research 2016, 86, 945–980, doi:10.3102/0034654315626800.
  5. Chedzey, K.; Cunningham, M.; Perry, E. Quality Assurance of Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development: Design, Development and Pilot of a CPD Quality Assurance System; Chartered College of Teaching: London, UK, 2021;
  6. Perry, E. Teacher Professional Development in Changing Circumstances: The Impact of COVID-19 on Schools’ Approaches to Professional Development. Education Sciences 2023, 13, 48, doi:10.3390/educsci13010048.
  7. Mitchell, R. What Is Professional Development, How Does It Occur in Individuals, and How May It Be Used by Educational Leaders and Managers for the Purpose of School Improvement? Professional Development in Education 2013, 39, 387–400, doi:10.1080/19415257.2012.762721.
  8. Perry, E.; Bevins, S. Building Capacity for Professional Development: The Development of Teachers as Facilitators in Ghana. Professional Development in Education 2019, 45, 390–404, doi:10.1080/19415257.2018.1474489.
  9. Bevins, S.; Jordan, J.; Perry, E. Reflecting on Professional Development. Educational Action Research 2011, 19, 399–411, doi:10.1080/09650792.2011.600643.
  10. Lofthouse, R.; Flanagan, J.; Wigley, B. A New Model of Collaborative Action Research; Theorising from Inter-Professional Practice Development. Educational Action Research 2016, 24, 519–534, doi:10.1080/09650792.2015.1110038.

Prof. Dr. Emily Perry
Dr. Josephine Booth
Dr. Stuart Bevins
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • professional development

  • professional learning
  • teacher
  • science teacher
  • continuing professional development
  • CPD
  • coaching
  • mentoring
  • informal
  • formal

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

22 pages, 339 KiB  
Article
Biology and Geology Teachers and Ecoethics Education: From the Guidelines and Training Offered to the Training Needs Felt by Teachers
by Luísa Carvalho and Luís Dourado
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14020128 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Ecoethics studies the moral relationship among human beings, the environment and its non-human components, whereas education for ecoethics involves a reflexion on how to live, how to make environmental choices and how to think about the consequences of human activities. To promote this [...] Read more.
Ecoethics studies the moral relationship among human beings, the environment and its non-human components, whereas education for ecoethics involves a reflexion on how to live, how to make environmental choices and how to think about the consequences of human activities. To promote this reflexion, teachers must be able to teach subjects related to ecoethics, having adequate teacher training in the field. Thus, it was considered pertinent to investigate if and how ecoethics appears in the guiding documents for teachers' practices and in initial and continuing training courses for Portuguese biology and geology teachers, as well as whether these teachers feel they need training in ecoethics. To achieve this, document analysis was carried out, and a questionnaire with both close- and open-ended questions was applied at a national level. The main results show that little emphasis is given to ecoethics both in the guiding documents and in initial and continuing training courses for Portuguese BG teachers; most teachers say that they have not dealt with ecoethics issues in their initial and ongoing teacher training but consider them essential. Given the teachers’ influence on students, a focus on teacher training in ecoethics is essential so that they can contribute to solving environmental problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Professional Learning of Teachers of Science)
Back to TopTop