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Dimensions of autonomy: Primary teachers' decisions about involvement in science professional development

Schibeci, R. and Hickey, R.L. (2003) Dimensions of autonomy: Primary teachers' decisions about involvement in science professional development. Science Education, 88 (1). pp. 119-145.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sce.10091
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Abstract

Professional development (PD) for primary science teachers is recognized as an important activity which can support improved science education for students. Analysis of interviews with practicing primary science teachers is used to identify the range of PD experiences of a sample of teachers from Western Australia. Teachers' reasons for attending or avoiding science-related PD are categorized as “decision issues” which include opportunity, compulsion, convenience, enticement, interest, recommendation, and relevance. Case studies describe the interplay of these issues, which result in teachers' attendance or avoidance of PD. A subset of the sample is used to explore teachers' views of other activities which they recognize as contributing to their science teaching, content knowledge, and pedagogy. These other activities include hobbies, partner's job, and pursuing students' interests. Legitimating teachers' own interests as a source of personally derived PD is supported as an avenue to increase the diversity of topics studied by students and to increase the level of content knowledge held by teachers.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/6423
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