by Sanne Dekker & Jan van Baren-Nawrocka (Science Education Hu, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
The Science Education Hub in Nijmegen has completed the second round of the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programme for in-service teachers. There was a lot of interest from science teachers in the field to participate in this TPD programme. In total, 19 in-service teachers participated in the TPD courses, which lasted for 12.5 hours (five meetings, each lasting 2.5 hours).
Compared to the first round of our TPD programme, we have made substantial changes. These changes were based on our previous experiences, insights from the PARRISE consortium meeting in Vienna, and a feedback session with our pre-service teacher educators. During the second round of our TPD programme, we adopted a model in which the SSIBL framework was implicit in the first meeting, and explicit in the final meeting. Teachers were expected to develop their own SSIBL activities to be implemented in the classroom. These activities were developed throughout the TPD course as different home assignments. Examples of themes developed in our group were the large amounts of plastic in the ocean, robots in the classroom and sustainability/climate change.
Our evaluation consisted of a pre-post questionnaire about attitudes towards SSIBL. Furthermore, we asked the teachers afterwards to report the extent to which they were able to integrate the SSIBL approach in the activities they developed, and which challenges and opportunities they saw. Overall, we received very positive ratings, with an average evaluation score of 6.7 out of 7 possible points. Also, we received requests to provide additional support in the classroom, for instance, coaching on the job. Since this is a service our organization offers, this means SSIBL is finding its way into our organization and contributing to the sustainability of PARRISE after the project’s completion. Furthermore, we have decided to organize a follow-up session in April 2017, to meet again and exchange experiences, ideas and questions. Looking back, we are very satisfied with the changes made compared to the first round of our TPD programme, and we look forward to continue working on integrating inquiry-based learning with citizenship education and socio-scientific issues.