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Chapter 15: Professional Development


1. Identify professional activities in and outside school setting

2. Discuss writing for professional journals

3. Discuss importance of interaction with other science


4. Discuss importance of research, hobbies, professional


5. Suggest ways to evaluate teacher performance

I. Professional Development Activities
A. Importance of Professional Development
1. Becoming an effective teacher is a continuous process
2. Science content changes rapidly and has expanding social
3. Diversity of students is increasing rapidly
4. Research, publication, interaction with colleagues are reaffirming
5. State and national standards change

B. Inservice and Workshops

1. School district often require participation, and arrange for presenter
2. Implementation of new curriculum
a. STS initiatives, Science Literacy, etc…
b. Compliance with state standards
3. Summer, Saturday, after school, work day scheduling
4. Points often assigned for time and effort involved
5. Points may be used for recertification
C. Graduate Work
1. College coursework often required for pay raise, promotion, tenure
2. Recertification may require a certain number of graduate hours in
combination or in place of inservice points
3. School system typically pay for tuition
4. May be used toward a graduate degree
5. Types of courses
a. Increase science content knowledge: Modern Physics
b. Increase pedagogical knowledge: Inquiry Learning
6. Graduate degrees
a. Masters degree improves pay, promotion
b. May be in administration, counseling, special education, etc…
c. Usually takes several years of one or two courses a semester

II. Professional Organizations

A. National Organizations
1. National Science Teachers Association
a. Publishes journals
b. Instrumental in development of National Science Education Standards
2. Discipline Specific
a. National Association of Biology Teachers
b. American Chemical Society
c. American Association of Physics Teachers

3. Research in Science Education

a. National Association for Research in Science Teaching
b. Association for the Education of Teachers of Science
c. Publish journals on newest research into teaching science

B. Statewide Organization
1. General science teaching or discipline specific
a. Kansas Academy of Science
b. Kansas Association for Biology Teachers
2. Local meetings
3. Publish science education research and ideas
4. Update teachers on standards and regulation changes
5. Publish student science research
III. Other activities for Professional Growth
A. Writing for Publication
1. Prepare papers or presentations for local, regional, national
2. Prepare manuscript for publication in peer reviewed journal
a. Wider dissemination of an idea or of research findings
b. Improves communication skills
c. Involvement is scholarly development of the profession
3. What to write on
a. Improved method for doing a lab
b. Research on student learning following a specific instruction activity
c. Basic science research

B. Communicating with other science teachers

1. Experienced teachers are valuable sources of information
2. They know what works and what doesn’t work (for them, anyway)
3. Point out relationships in curriculum that you don’t see
4. Attend professional meetings to interact with other science
C. Travel
1. Opportunity to collect samples, photographs, experiences
2. Use these in the classroom to increase motivation, enthusiasm
3. Make sure laws are observed when collecting samples
4. Museums provide ideas for units, activities
5. Industries provide applications to enhance authenticity of lessons

D. Summer Employment
1. Science-related employment enriches your experiences
2. Some industries intentionally hire science teachers in summer
3. Develop technical skills
4. Universities often have summer programs for teachers
5. Work for a professor as a research assistant

E. Research
1. Science
a. May have skills, education, interest to establish your own projects
b. Collaborate with university professors
c. Involve students in data collection, analysis, and reporting
d. Increased recognition by colleagues, community
2. Education
a. Collaborate with university researcher (you are the subject)
b. Action Research = improving classroom practices
i. Decide what to study
ii. Choose what data to collect and how to collect it
iii. Analyze the data
iv. Implement the results
v. Needs to be manageable within daily teaching tasks
c. Conditions conducive to action research
i. Collaboration with other teachers
ii. Communication between collaborators
iii. Support of time and resources
iv. Recognition of efforts by administration
d. Improves science teaching and learning (NRC, 1996)

3. Leave of Absence
a. Sabbatical or leave can be used to update content or teaching skills
b. May be one semester or one year
c. May have full, half, or no pay
d. Usually need to give 1 years notice, and teach for specified time after
4. Keeping Up-to-Date through Reading
a. Vast amount of content and pedagogical literature available
b. Easy access prerequisite to taking advantage of it
i. Establish a professional library
ii. Subscribe to professional journal
c. Read popular science publications
i. Scientific American
ii. National Geographic
iii. Discover
d. Keep and update your college science texts
e. May be expensive; the school library may help

IV. Evaluating teacher performance

A. Evaluation is essential for growth
1. Set goals for yourself
2. Try to implement learning from professional development

B. Videotaping
1. Borrow school video camera
2. Critically assess your teaching as you would someone else’s
C. Questionnaires
1. Student evaluations can point out strengths and weaknesses
2. Should contain positively states statements and a scale of answers
3. Should be anonymous and should not effect grade
4. Written comments from students are often most helpful
5. Sample questionnaire p. 306

D. Maintaining a Resume
1. Keep track of professional activities for a resume
a. College credit or degrees
b. Job position, responsibilities, dates of employment, supervisors
c. Inservice and workshops
d. Professional meetings, presentations, and publications
e. Committee membership, awards,
2. Without documented proof, the activity didn’t happen
3. Important for accreditation of schools