Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 6, Issue 1, Foreword
Promoting Science Teacher Ownership through STL Teaching
Teachers ownership and readiness to teach STL
This was the subject of a study in which teachers were encouraged to develop their own supplementary teaching material meeting the STL criteria (Rannikmäe, 2001, Holbrook, 2004) and to try it out in the classroom. The layout used included a detailed description of a suggested teaching strategy with a consequence map, where the emphasis was on social issue or concern arising from the scenario (a story modeling real life issue, where students could be involved) and also on describing different ways to approach this problem-solving and/or decision-making situation.
Altogether, twenty chemistry teachers, highly motivated to work with the principal investigator, were invited to participate in a longitudinal study undertaken in 1999-2003. All teachers had been involved in earlier in-service courses by the principal investigator and had at least 10 years of experience in teaching high school chemistry. The teachers formed peer supporting groups, working together and exchanging information which was seen as an encouraging factor.
During the six month intervention period, teachers attended three writing workshops (a total of 24 hours face-to-face contact), where STL supplementary teaching materials were created and modified and the draft versions of students pre- and post- tests created (to measure student achievement). All teachers were asked to use also already existing STL materials, created during earlier ICASE & UNESCO workshops (Holbrook & Rannikmäe, 1997) and develop these, by themselves, into teaching material suitable for grade ten students (Chemistry is taught as separate school subject in Estonian schools) . At the same time, the teachers were trained to recognise the need for wider goals for science teaching, to use student centred teaching approaches, develop problem-solving and decision-making skills and assess students on the skills gained.
Qualitative data were gathered to describe the process of teacher’s change over the 4 years period - immediately after the 6 month intervention, 12 month after the end of the 6 month intervention and finally, 3 years later. The data collection included the use of semi-structured pre- and post- intervention interviews with teachers, observations and written records from all stages in the development of teaching materials (called scripts). Longitudinal data were collected using similar interviews and observation schemes.
A pre-intervention, semi-structured interview was planned to determine teacher’s perceptions and beliefs in three areas:
- goals for teaching chemistry in grade 10;
- understanding about the development problem-solving and decision-making skills among the students;
- the meaning of student centred teaching.
The post-intervention interview concentrated on outcomes and values of the intervention study i.e.:
- student achievement;
- teacher gains and constraints during the intervention;
- concerns which may influence the continuance of STL teaching.
The interview data were validated by triangulation against the workshop records and student achievement during the 6 month intervention study.
Copyright (C) 2005 HKIEd APFSLT. Volume 6, Issue 1, Foreword (Jun., 2005). All Rights Reserved.