The Learning Effects of a Multidisciplinary Professional Development Programme
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- Visser, T.C., Coenders, F.G.M., Pieters, J.M. et al. J Sci Educ Technol (2013) 22: 807. doi:10.1007/s10956-012-9432-6
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Professional development becomes relevant and effective when teachers are actively involved, collaborate, and when it is linked to teachers’ daily school practice (Hunzicker in Prof Dev Educ 37:177–179, 2011). Preparation of teachers for a curriculum implementation such as the new subject Nature, Life, and Technology can be done by a professional development programme where teachers are actively involved (Visser et al. 2010). This study evaluates the designed and implemented professional development programme with respect to its effectiveness in terms of degree of teacher learning and development. Effects are evaluated for five learning areas: Instructional strategies, differences in students’ prior knowledge, adjustments to the module, assessment methods and instruments, and field trips and guest lectures. Eleven teachers from four different schools participated in two professional development programmes, six teachers in the first professional development programme and five teachers in the programme for the subsequent module. Questionnaires and interviews were used to assess the effects in the different learning areas. The findings show that the professional development programme is a useful venture for teachers’ professional growth in different learning areas.