06 Nov 2019

THE NEED FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR SECONDARY SCIENCE TEACHERS

Professional development is a process for teachers to improve their skills, knowledge and attitude.  Professional development also improves the competency and efficiency of the teachers in their career.  The aim of professional development at school is to supply educators with strong continuous practice throughout their career. Generally, the teachers need to be up to date with recent pedagogy,  technology,  system and policy of education and other aspects related to the functioning of their jobs. Over the years, there have been numerous changes in science teaching and learning with regard to its instruction medium, assessment procedures, training emphasis, review, and many other issues.

In Greece, a secondary science teacher’s profession was exercised without specific education and training in teaching and pedagogy, usually empirically multi-year learning in educational institutions. The Higher Education Curricula focuses on scientific knowledge and the introduction of this knowledge to secondary schools has not been taken into account. Thus, unwittingly, teachers reproduce teaching experiences gained by the passing educational system, which usually reflect the traditional perception centred on teachers.

Teachers are expected to engage in continuous, life-long learning experiences due to unceasing awareness, environmental and social changes.  Teacher training courses are prepared in advance and in-service for teachers.  Students who have completed their matriculation or foundation studies are provided with pre-service training programs, while in-service training programs are offered to teachers who already teach in schools.  At public and private colleges as well as at IPG, the teachers-to-be participate in the pre-service course. Additionally, in-service training programs are typically performed at schools or other sites designated by the Department of State or District Education.

Secondary teachers may need to learn key disciplinary principles, crosscutting concepts, or activities in terms of content knowledge that were not part of their disciplinary training. Teachers who may not have a strong background in science or trust in teaching science will need to study the material and how to teach it in ways that improve self-efficacy. Because of their very limited initial preparation opportunities to study science, beginning elementary teachers are likely to have extensive learning content and practices needs. Teachers have a great deal to learn about practical knowledge, including knowledge of the needs and interests of students and the learning of science, as well as pedagogical material awareness teachers engaging in virtual and real experiences of synchronous and asynchronous education, without geographical and economic boundaries, using Internet and in-person teaching tools for document, sound and photos Altogether, the new knowledge is designed and built-in schools which change rapidly every day.

Overall, the offering of secondary school courses continues to represent inadequately contemporary science and engineering concerns and advances. In order to achieve the new vision, high school teachers will need extensive content preparation as well as support in reconceptualizing school knowledge organization in these advances. Furthermore, as discussed above, high school education remains dominated by textbooks, with relatively little use of technology and little opportunity for students to engage in scientific inquiry and reasoning. That is, while in this country demands for the reform of science teaching are not recent, science education remains largely didactic, with curriculum exposure taking precedence over substantive student inquiry-oriented experiences. The challenge of the new vision would include a change from conventional instruction to more student-and practice-centred instruction.

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