The TPD course “Mobility, traffic and renewable energies” is incorporated in the course “Didactic methods” within the teacher training curriculum of the University of Teacher Education in Carinthia. The SSIBL TPD course had two rounds (academic year 2015–2016 and 2016–2017) and involved in total 2 teacher educators, 3 climate region managers, 24 pre-service teachers, 44 teachers and about 250 school students. The training session in SSIBL took place for 2 weekly hours per semester.
During the school year 2015-2017 SSIBL workshops for pre-service teachers of the TPD and in-service teachers of the “Climate Schools” in 3 model regions in Carinthia in methodology and didactics as well as trainings for SSIBL-competence took place.
The SSIBL sessions are divided in three main parts:
- The main goal of the initial face-to-face sessions was to familiarize the pre-service teachers with the SSIBL-framework and the goals of the PARRISE project and to present to them the Austrian initiative “Climate Schools”.
- The second part of the sessions is dedicated to the preparation of the SSIBL workshops in the Climate Schools. Pre-service teachers organise together with in-service teachers of the involved schools a socio-scientific issue for teaching science and develop SSIBL activities for the students.
- Finally, pre-service teachers implement the cross-cutting theme “Mobility, traffic and renewable energies” by integrating the 3 pillars (Citizenship Education, Socio Scientific Issues, Inquiry Based Learning) in classroom practice. They elaborate with the pupils topics like energy and mobility, renewable energies, energy and heat insulation.
The TPD course addressed 10 main objectives:
- Explain the main characteristics of the SSIBL framework and the skills required for these elements to be implemented in science classrooms (teachers as learners)
- Develop and implement SSIBL-based activities in the classroom (teachers as designers and reflective practitioners)
- Create SSIBL related investigation questions
- Get an idea of the perception of students/pupils concerning issues
- Scaffold students/pupils inquiry
- Liaise with agencies external to the school
- Handle discussions with sensitive issues
- Gain knowledge about “Mobility, traffic and renewable energies” (teachers as learners)
- Foster interdisciplinary arrangements in schools, to plan SSIBL with teachers of different subjects
As part of the TPD evaluation, we addressed the following questions:
- What do pre-service teachers learn while teaching the SSIBL approach in the context of the Austrian project “Mobility, traffic and renewable energies”?
- What do the other parties involved learn (teacher educators, teachers, climate region manager, students)?
- What are the strengths of the SSIBL approach?
- What are the challenges of the SSIBL approach?
To answer the research questions, triangulated evaluation data (interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires) from different participants (pre-service science teachers, teacher educators, teachers and regional manager) were cross-examined and discussed.