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ERIC Number: EJ1001409
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0263-5143
A Space for Learning: How Teachers Benefit from Participating in a Professional Community of Space Technology
Mehli, Hanne; Bungum, Berit
Research in Science & Technological Education, v31 n1 p31-48 2013
Background: Science teachers need a deep understanding of how science works in modern society. Purpose: This article reports a case study investigating the ways in which a short-term in-service course on a research site of space technology contributes to this understanding. Design and method: The study is performed in three steps: an evaluation immediately after the course, a survey 4-12 months after the course and, finally, in-depth interviews with a selection of course participants. Results: The results show that teachers benefit from the course experience in ways considered important for their professional development as science teachers, despite the fact that the course deviates from current recommendations for professional development: the course is not based on the school's immediate needs, it is short term with no follow-up and it does not engage participants in the epistemic aspects of a research project. The teachers' gains are related to the authenticity of the research site, working and being with professionals and having sufficient time to cooperate with them in solving specific tasks towards the goal of launching a rocket. In this way, the course gave teachers authentic experiences and important insights in the complexity and infrastructure of a specific scientific practice in modern society. Conclusions: Participating in a scientific community of practice is important for the development of science teachers' subject-related identity, and should be recognised as an important part of their professional development. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway