ERIC Number: EJ759858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Dimensions of Autonomy: Primary Teachers' Decisions about Involvement in Science Professional Development
Schibeci, Renato A.; Hickey, Ruth L.
Science Education, v88 n1 p119-145 Jan 2004
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.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Professional Development, Elementary School Teachers, Science Teachers, Science Education, Teacher Attitudes, Decision Making, Interviews, Case Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia