ERIC Number: EJ873561
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Science Teachers' Professional Development and Changes in Science Practical Assessment Practices: What Are the Issues?
Towndrow, Phillip A.; Tan, Aik-Ling; Yung, Benny H. W.; Cohen, Libby
Research in Science Education, v40 n2 p117-132 Mar 2010
This paper considers the circumstances under which science teachers can respond positively and productively to educational policy reforms in the area of science practical assessment. To understand what might be involved in linking science teachers' assessment capacities and their professional development, we present illustrative data from recent research studies conducted in Singapore and Hong Kong showing contrasting approaches taken in the implementation of reforms in science practical assessment. In Singapore, teachers worked together to select, discuss, clarify and refine their practices as they made decisions about what to teach and assess. In Hong Kong, teachers took a critical stance towards the new policy and learnt from their own experiences in order to build their confidence. With the same policy initiative, one group of teachers focused more on the technicalities of complying with requirements imposed on them while in the other group had their professional consciousness of what they thought was best for their students provoked so that their practices would be transformed. In an attempt to draw lessons for other contexts in supporting the implementation of assessment policy reforms through professional development work, we identify and discuss a range of factors in science teachers' professional development that arise once "in situ" professional development work has started. Overall, our intent in this article is to recast assessment reform as a driver or pivot in teachers' professional development and learning. To do this it is necessary, we argue, to afford teachers' experiences and the processes involved in learning from them greater emphasis in order to ensure the continuance of innovation in the assessment of laboratory-based work.
Descriptors: Educational Change, Foreign Countries, Science Teachers, Professional Development, Educational Policy, Student Evaluation, Science Education, Evaluation Methods, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong; Singapore