Dr Mellita Jones - Faculty of Education & Arts, Australian Catholic University - Mini workshop: Fostering Effective Pedagogies for Science Teacher Education
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Dr Mellita Jones - Faculty of Education & Arts, Australian Catholic University - Mini workshop: Fostering Effective Pedagogies for Science Teacher Education



Dr Mellita Jones delivered the presentation at the 2014 STEM Conference. ...

Dr Mellita Jones delivered the presentation at the 2014 STEM Conference.

The STEM Education Conference in 2014 looked not only at some of the key advantages and critical gaps in STEM education but also explore the policy and strategy settings that can enable participation and quality learning of STEM.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://bit.ly/STEMConf2014



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Dr Mellita Jones - Faculty of Education & Arts, Australian Catholic University - Mini workshop: Fostering Effective Pedagogies for Science Teacher Education Dr Mellita Jones - Faculty of Education & Arts, Australian Catholic University - Mini workshop: Fostering Effective Pedagogies for Science Teacher Education Presentation Transcript

  • Fostering Effective Pedagogies for Science Teacher Education Dr. Mellita Jones Australian Catholic University Ballarat Campus Presentation to STEM Education Conference, 20-21 August, 2014 STEM Education Conference Advancing innovation and research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education and practice
  • Wicked Problem (Rittel & Webber, 1973) – a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. – resistant to a resolution, rather than being evil. – because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems. (Wikipedia, 2014)
  • The Wicked Problem of Science Education Poor attitudes about the importance of science in the curriculum (Goodrum, Hackling & Rennie, 2001, 2011; McInnis, 2001, Tytler, 2007; Office of the Chief Scientist, 2012) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv8pmIr3a7k&feature=youtu.be View slide
  • The Wicked Problem of Science Teacher Education Teachers avoid teaching Science where possible When it is taught, it tends to be (Earth &) Space or Biology Pre-service teachers have limited opportunity to observe effective teaching of science Pre-service teachers rarely practice science teaching on rounds Most teaching rounds sit outside of curriculum and pedagogy units (which they are ok with because they want to avoid it too) Pre-service teachers have low confidence in their science background knowledge and their ability to teach science Pre-service teachers have poor attitudes towards science Large numbers of students in courses makes it challenging to use authentic teaching and assessment strategies As a profession, teaching is not attracting high quality candidates. Often revert to the predominant school culture once entering the profession Limited science units in undergraduate teaching courses (Appelton, 2003; Jones & Carter, 2007, Goddard, 2003, Keys, 2005) Selecting contexts/content that sets them up for a future View slide
  • The result? • Students beginning secondary schooling are ill-prepared to take up Level 5 science - only just over 50% of Year 6 students are at or above the Proficient Standard in our domestic NAP– SL (ACARA, 2012) • A spiraling decline in teachers’ confidence and ability to teach science in primary years and often in their attitudes towards science; • A growing teacher workforce who are not qualified to teach science.
  • Primary Teachers – Level of Science Highest Level of tertiary Study Total with some tertiary (%) Methods training (5)1 Year (%) 2 Years (%) 3+ Years (%) Biol 6.8 3.7 5.4 15.9 4.4 Chem 4.8 2.4 2.4 9.6 2.3 Earth Sciecne 4.8 3.2 4.2 12.3 3.9 Enviro Science 4.3 3.5 6.1 13.9 6.6 Physics 4.1 1.7 1.7 7.4 1.4 Psych 5.7 5.3 11.3 22.3 8.9 General Sci 11 11.4 24.7 47.2 40.5 McKenzie, Rowley, Weldon, & Murphy, 2011
  • Secondary Teachers – Level of Science Highest level of Tertiary Study Total with some tertiary (%) [Primary] Methods training (%) 1 Year (%) 2 Years (%) 3+ Years (%) Biol 5.8 3.0 13.2 22.0 [15.9] 11.2 Chem 6.9 5.1 9.3 21.2 [9.6] 9.0 Earth Sciecne 4.7 2.2 3.9 10.8 [12.3] 3.6 Enviro Science 3.1 2.2 4.7 10.0 [13.9] 3.9 Physics 8.2 3.6 5.3 17.1 [7.4] 6.1 Psych 6.0 3.1 5.5 14.7 [22.3] 3.9 General Sci 4.1 2.6 10.4 17.1 [47.2] 18 McKenzie, Rowley, Weldon, & Murphy, 2011
  • Other things we know • The quality of the teacher is the largest single determinant of student learning outcomes (Darling-Hammond, 2006; Hattie, 2003) • Students identify teachers as the most influential factor in determining their interest in a subject (Office of the Chief Scientist, 2012)
  • So what are “we” doing to better ensure the quality of the teacher/teaching? • Lots of investment in improving the quality of science teaching – Primary Connections – Science by Doing – My Science – Australian Maths and Science Partnerships Program (AMSPP) – Etc. • Rewriting curriculum (inquiry skills/working scientifically have set standards since about 2006 – and now human endeavour) • National testing • Encouraging inquiry learning.
  • Addressing teacher efficacy is important • Self-efficacy can effect every element of teaching “including lesson planning; teaching; assessment; interactions with peers, parents and students; … professional development and the ways she [the teacher] will implement reform” (Jones & Carter 2007, p. 1067) • Tendency is to resort to pedagogies they are comfortable with – literacy/humanities based
  • What should we teach in science teacher education? • Build teacher self-efficacy to teach science: – science background knowledge – Inquiry-based pedagogies – Selection and use of resources
  • 1st year U/G Primary PSTs How do you feel about learning Science?
  • 1st year U/G Primary PSTs What do you like about learning Science?
  • 1st year U/G Primary PSTs What don’t you like about learning Science?
  • Attitudes towards & Confidence to teach Science (4th year U/G Primary PSTs) 2011 2012 2013 How important is Science Education? Howconfidentareyoutoteachit?
  • How do you feel about teaching science? (4th year U/G Primary PSTs) • Scared • Apprehensive • Terrified Why? Students may ask questions I don’t know the answers to My own knowledge is lacking I don’t feel I know enough about science to teach it
  • Increasing Self-Efficacy Mastery Experience the first hand experience of success Vicarious Experience observation of someone the person identifies with successfully perform a task Social Persuasion reassurance and encouragement from a respected peer/mentor Physiological/affective state heart rate and other physiological factors in the body affected by stress (Bandura, 1997)
  • Increasing Self-Efficacy Physiological/affective state Provide a supportive and positive learning environment Social Persuasion Peers, teacher mentor, lecturer/tutor Vicarious Experience Observe peers, more/less expert others (teacher/tutor/teacher educator), videos, etc. Mastery Experience Only through access to a classroom of children.
  • What’s being done? • School-university partnerships • Embed science teaching practice in coursework • Variety of models that fall somewhere on the continuum of collaborative to cooperative in nature
  • Collaborative Partnerships • University “borrows” school classrooms; psts plan, teach & reflect on science teaching on own or in groups • Schools “borrow” universities – ‘come and teach our science program’ (Kenny, 2010; Palmer, 2006) PSTs and classroom teacher: • plan together • Team teach • Reflect together • Learn together (Jones, 2011; Nilsson & van Driel (2010 ) CoOperative Partnerships
  • What pre-service teachers say about mastery experience opportunities I'll be more willing to teach it now I think, because I see that they do get enjoyment out of it, because before I was 'oh, I think they'd hate it’. “Despite feeling that things were not working at times, my confidence has increased. I have seen that I can handle it when things do not occur as expected.”
  • So do we need the uni? • Guided reflection – making the tacit explicit and meaningful (Loughran, 2002) • Helping pre-service teachers notice important aspects/incidents in their practice (Jones, 2011)
  • Learning from peers It's good to hear about what everyone else does and what's worked and what hasn't worked and just get ideas from people instead of trawl your way around the internet and find stuff but you don't know if they're really going to be successful or not. The discussion of your own practice … [it] forces you to reflect on your own practice and I think that's good for any teacher”
  • Attitudes towards & Confidence to teach Science (4th year U/G Primary PSTs) 2011 2012 2013 Before Before Before After After After
  • Risks? Partnerships need to be Supportive • I don't think I would have coped if I had been by myself • I'm not comfortable being around her at all. I'm terrified of getting rounds at that school • I felt like a novice in a field of experts, and an unwanted novice at that Expectations need to be clear and there need to be shared understandings and goals for the partnership
  • STEPS Project An OLT funded Innovation and Development Project (2013-2014) between five universities who have existing school-based science teacher education programs – Deakin University (lead) Linda Hobbs, Coral Campbell, Gail Chittleborough, Sandra Herbert – Australian Catholic University Mellita Jones – RMIT University Andrew Gilbert – University of Melbourne Christine Redman – University of Tasmania John Kenny Science Teacher Education Partnerships with Schools In memory of Dr Jeff King
  • The STEPS Project – Enhance the quality of science teacher education by promoting theory-practice nexus; – Provides opportunities for pre-service teachers to practice science teaching; – Provides authentic learning experiences and opportunities for reflection; – Fosters identity formation and confidence to teach science. The project aims to explore school-based approaches to science teacher education that:
  • The STEPS Outcomes • A synthesis of the variety of teaching and reflective practices and informing theories; • Documentation of exemplars of innovative pedagogies; • Creation of an interpretive framework informed by contemporary practice; • Determination of sustainable methods for establishing and maintaining effective school-university partnerships generalisable across a range of contexts; • Facilitation of uptake of innovative school-based practices within the sector.
  • Interpretive Framework • A document to support school-based approaches to pre- service teacher education • Designed for both teacher educators and schools – To establish, implement and evaluate a partnership – To maintain a partnership; – To grow a partnership. Website (under construction) http://stepsproject.org.au
  • Growing University-School Partnerships (GUSP) A. Need and Rationale B. Institutional and Unit Demands C. Relationships D. Curriculum Development (for children) E. Elements of practice 1.InitiationPhase Identify mutual and differing needs and provide rationale Identify constraints and affordances governing the approach to partnership development Negotiate and define value and parameters defining the nature of the partnership Conceptualise an approach to PST interaction with children. For Universities: Establish guiding principles for practice that can occur within the partnership. For Schools: Consider options for level of involvement in feedback and personal reflection. 2.Implementation Phase Be mindful of the needs and rationale and be responsive to emerging needs Manage, compromise, justify and respond to demands (limitations and possibilities) Maintaining and working with partners to meet individual and differing needs of partners For Universities: Developing and implementing subject- related and general content and pedagogy For Schools: Be aware of PST interactions with children. For Universities: Draw on informing theories, and modeling reflective practice and subject-related content and pedagogy. For Schools: Reflect on current level of involvement in feedback and professional learning. 3.EvaluationPhase Evaluating the needs and rationales for their continued relevance and future possibilities. Evaluating against institutional demands and considering different possibilities & approaches. Evaluating the nature of the partnership to respond to current and future needs and possibilities. For Universities: Rethink, redevelop curriculum while drawing on reflections and research. For Schools: Evaluate children’s engagement and learning to determine continued involvement. For Universities: Examining effectiveness of practices in response to institutional, unit, and partnership changes and needs. For Schools: Evaluate current practices and consider future levels of involvement in feedback and professional learning interests/needs
  • Representations of Partnership Practices (RPP) A. Purposes B. Institutional structures C. Nature of partnership D. Linking theory with practice Connective Engagement based on provision of curriculum or other service need. Partnership activities are short-term and opportunistic and sit within existing structure. Partners provide short- term services with a focus on one partner’s needs but with mutual benefits and value for all. Partners recognise schools as important sites for PSTs to link theory and practice. Generative Partners recognise opportunities for mutual professional learning Partnership activities are considered long-term and are planned and catered for in the teacher education and school programs. Partners jointly plan the structure of the school- based practices to the benefit of both. Opportunities exist for both partners to reflect on practice that may be linked to theory. Transformative Partner involvement based on active professional learning Partnerships are embedded in the ongoing structures and practices of the institutions. Partners take joint responsibility for mutually agreed practices and outcomes that are embedded in their respective core outcomes. Both partners engage explicitly in reflective inquiry guided by theories of professional identity development.
  • Fostering effective science teacher education • Partnerships – preferably collaborative to provide opportunities for in-service and pre-service teacher learning • PSTs working in pairs or small groups • Embedding science teaching experiences in curriculum and pedagogy units • Expert facilitation to guide planning and reflection on pedagogy and encourage theory-practice nexus.
  • Resolving the Wickedness • Policy level – Attract high quality candidates to the profession – Consider how schools are portrayed and funded – beyond literacy and numeracy – Professional learning recognition for working with pre-service teachers in collaborative ways • University/Unit level – Have meaningful links between professional experience and course work – Provide authentic experiences of teaching and learning – Link theory and practice through expert facilitated critical reflection – Work with teachers and schools • School/classroom level – Encourage engagement in science professional learning – Resource science teaching – Work with pre-service teachers and universities I’m Melting!!!
  • Question/Discussion Point University/U nit Level School/Classro om Level Government Policy What are the current/potential strengths of government, universities, and schools that can be leveraged to foster effective science teacher education and help resolve the wickedness of the problem?
  • (Fisher & Frey, 2007)