The use of a multimedia package in a teachers' professional development program
Maor, D. (1997) The use of a multimedia package in a teachers' professional development program. In: 12th Annual Research Forum of the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER, 1997, Edith Cowan University, Perth.
This paper provides a case study of the use of a multimedia package, to develop teachers, understanding of a constructivist epistemology in science education. The software, which itself had been developed with teachers is based on the Birds of Antarctica database (Maor & Phillips, 1996). The Birds of Antarctica software was designed as an interactive program which requires teachers to use a constructivist approach to teaching and learning in order to promote the development of inquiry skills and, in particular, higher-level thinking skills. This paper describes a professional development program which involves the use of the package to develop teachers, understanding of the constructivist epistemology in order for them to enhance the development of higher-level thinking skills among students. As part of this classroom-based study, a series of workshops for teachers was conducted. These were intended, firstly, to empower teachers to become comfortable in using computers in science classrooms and, secondly, to enable teachers to enhance their understanding of, and ability to use, personal and social constructivist approaches to teaching and learning in the computerised learning environment.
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