Leadership and Professional Development in Science Education: New Possibilities for Enhancing Teacher Learning

Leadership and Professional Development in Science Education: New Possibilities for Enhancing Teacher Learning

Leadership and Professional Development in Science Education: New Possibilities for Enhancing Teacher Learning

Leadership and Professional Development in Science Education: New Possibilities for Enhancing Teacher Learning

Synopsis

Leadership and Professional Development in Science Education provides invaluable insight into the role of science teachers as learners and thinkers of change processes. The fourteen chapters, by an eminent international team of science educators, explain and explore the relationship between professional development, teacher leadership and teacher learning. Research-based practical and theoretical exemplars reflect state of the art science teacher leadership in a broad range of international contexts. The book is divided into three parts, reflecting a multi-layered approach to teacher learning: * Personal initiatives in teacher learning, focusing on individual teachers; * Collegial initiatives in teacher learning, focusing on groups of teachers; * Systemic initiatives for teacher learning, focusing on system-wide issues. Student teachers and practising teachers will find the text highly valuable as they consider and review the challenges of teaching practice and ways of working with colleagues, while school leaders and policymakers will benefit from the book's insight into system-wide issues of professional development.

Excerpt

Learning about teacher learning: reflections of a science educator

John Wallace

For more than three decades I have been occupied with the themes that form the focus for this book-leadership, professional development and science teacher learning. In this time, I have worked as a high school science teacher and head of department, as a curriculum writer in a large school system, as a district-based school development officer and in various capacities as a university-based educator, facilitator and researcher. Thus, as I gather my thoughts for the Introduction to this book, I find myself looking back on various aspects of my practice and research in classrooms, schools and school systems. I am also looking forward, if you like, to see what others are saying about the topic and how their ideas about teacher leadership, professional development and learning intersect with my own. In describing these experiences and ideas, I call on a variety of educational contexts and literatures, including many examples from science education, to address two core questions: What is the nature of teacher learning?; and How can teacher learning be nurtured and encouraged?

What follows is a chapter in four parts. I begin, autobiographically, describing several nodal moments (Bullough and Pinnegar, 2001; Graham, 1989) in my career; followed by a summary of some of the findings from my research into teacher learning. Third, I examine how other literatures on learning about teaching (including the contributions to this volume) are leading to some promising models for teacher learning and development. I conclude with a discussion of the nexus between leadership, professional development and science teacher learning and the possibilities for improving science education.

Nodal career moments

Science teacher

When I began teaching high school science in rural Western Australia in 1969, I joined a highly centralized and regulated school system. On almost

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