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Risk taking and change in a science teacher professional development program
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education. (NV)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education. (NV)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education. (NV)
Vetenskapens hus.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this presentation we show how a certain critical event contributed to teacher change in a professional development program in a Swedish secondary school. The professional development program was part of a wider research project focusing on how knowledge stemming from science education research can support science teachers’ day-to-day work with improving teaching. We collected video data from thirteen meetings between science education researchers and teachers taking place before and after three teaching cycles. We also video recorded all lessons comprising the three cycles. We employed Clarke and Hollingsworth’s interconnected model of teacher professional growth to analyze what consequences interactions between teachers and researchers had for teacher change. Here, we focus on one aspect of these analyses, viz., the crucial consequences which followed as the researchers took increased responsibility for implementing the newly introduced knowledge in the teachers’ practice. Thus, following an initial stage in which the newly introduced concepts did not have any sustained consequences for the teachers’ practice, the researchers decided to take a considerably higher risk concerning their own contribution in the program. This was done by (a) making explicit commitments regarding the positive consequences of employing the research based knowledge and (b) providing the teachers with thorough analyses and attendant concrete suggestions for how to change practice on the basis of this knowledge. This change in the researchers’ assumption of responsibility for the outcome of the project resulted in distinct teacher change, visible as the teachers (1) acknowledged salient outcomes of the researchers contributions, (2) suddenly took over the new vocabulary and (3) consistently began to employ the knowledge in their own planning, in talk between themselves and the researchers as well as in artifacts such as planning documents. The results have implications for how we view the role of researchers in professional development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
teacher professional development, pragmatism, school development
National Category
Research subject
Science Education
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-99080OAI: diva2:686266
European Science Education Research Association, September 2013, Nicosia
Stöd för lärares professionella utveckling och handlingsförmåga
Swedish Research Council, 2010-5171
Available from: 2014-01-10 Created: 2014-01-10 Last updated: 2014-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Hamza, KarimPiqueras, JesusWickman, Per-OlofAngelin, Marcus
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