Academic journal article Teaching Science

Turning Inspiration into Educational Innovation

Academic journal article Teaching Science

Turning Inspiration into Educational Innovation

Article excerpt

"Japan truly was transformational for me. At that time I saw myself as a nurse just pretending to be a teacher. The AJF Japan exchange enabled me to be a teacher who used to be a nurse." Danielle Spencer

Each year, a national selection process results In a small delegation of Australian teachers travelling to Japan to experience the culture, the traditions and diversity within teaching practice between the two countries. This experience has been transformational for many of the participating teachers with the exchange bridging the cultural divide and helping teachers to grow in confidence and teaching efficacy.

Danielle Spencer, a primary teacher from Michelton, Brisbane, was a member of the 2014 visiting delegation. "For many primary school teachers, science is not an area of preference or passion. Professional development opportunities that promote best practice in science are not commonplace," says Danielle. "During my lesson teaching Japanese students, I delighted in the fact that children are children and the wonderful noise of discovery transcends language barriers. I was so Inspired."

The Japanese experience prompted Danielle to Investigate how to better engage and upskill fellow primary teachers in the delivery of inquiry-based science. With support from her principal, Danielle took on a new role as a part-time science coach and began mentoring teachers as part of a program to build capacity and self-efficacy regarding science inquiry. …

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