dinsdag 29 november 2011

Professional development in science and TPACK

Together with my team members we developed a professional development plan for science teaching at primary schools using TPACK. I think it's a good plan and that I would like to be the trainer of the workshop. We designed a program that will covers a time span of 3 years. You could question if it is not to long for a professional development plan.

Three Year training, is way too long!

The length of the training program was a discussing in our group. If you do a program that takes three years their is a possibility that not all the teachers who start will finish the program. Their is also a possibility that teachers won't feel like taking a course that will obligate them to follow for tree years. I can understand and follow these arguments but their are other arguments as well. First of all their is all lot to learn, for example Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Technological Knowledge and TPACK. To put all this in a course of less that half a year it is not achievable. Actually you can see the course as tree courses: (1) A TK and CK course, (2) a PCK course and (3) a TPACK course. Secondly the first two parts of the course are more "one size fits it all" approach and will take 1 year. The TPACK part will take 2 years and is mostly an individual counseling and individual developing program. Therefor the program doesn't have a lot of group meetings. The program isn't that long in groups, on that account I think it isn't too long.

More than a TPACK training

If you've been reading my previous blogs you know TPACK isn't a easy state to reach as a teacher ( I'm not there yet). But if you reach this state at science teaching maybe you can transfer it to other subjects. In the first two parts of our training program we try to prepare the teachers for the difficult and task of reaching TPACK level. For having a change and daring to try out Technology in classrooms practice teachers need to have confidence in the other parts of TPACK, like CK, PCK or TK. In one year we try to reach the state where all the conditions a teacher needs before the TPACK stage are contended. the second and the third year of the training are for internalizing TPACK. When TPACK is completely internalized in the science lessons I'm convinced that the integration of Technology at other subjects will come naturally without any other training. Therefor this training deliverers more than you pay for; it delivers actual and wide change in teaching.

For who is this training?

This training is developed for a primary school in the Netherlands. All the teachers of a primary school who participate in this training will follow this training, it's obligatory for all. Why would you make it obligatory? I think when you do such a training that can effect your way of thinking and teaching it is not desirable to train only a few teacher at a school. The teacher can become isolated in the teaching staff or can be demotivated because there is a lack of support. The disadvantage is that teachers who join the training aren't motivated. We try to solve this by making time in the training for showing the importance of science and technology integration. The teachers who are enthusiastic can be a role model and help the less enthusiastic teachers. When more than one school is following the training program the teacher can change ideas trough the ELO.


A three year program looks long, but it actually is a three training programs with a follow up partly included. It is in a year not that much time consuming, there are only a few workshops a year and the other parts are normal preparations for teaching. I would like to teach this program because of the variance in the training and the effect it could have. It can really change the way science is taught at primary school. And it can even be more than that because this program can make a permanent change in all the teaching at primary school in the integration of technology. That's why I think we designed a very good training program.

1 opmerking:

  1. Hi Patrick, thank you for your reflection and for participating in my course! These three-year issue remains an issue for me. Yes, I understand the arguments, but I really wonder if we can get schools to invest that amount of time in professional development. Furthermore I wonder about what you write with regard to "you can see the course as tree courses: (1) A TK and CK course, (2) a PCK course and (3) a TPACK course". Yes, teachers need TK, CK and PCK. But the assignment was to design something about TPACK. And TPACK is al about the integration of the separate domains.. Maybe we need more discussions about this?