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Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 461–475 | Cite as

Using a Moodle-Based Professional Development Program to Train Science Teachers to Teach for Creativity and its Effectiveness on their Teaching Practices

  • Sulaiman M. Al-BalushiEmail author
  • Nasser S. Al-Abdali
Article

Abstract

This study describes a distance learning professional development program that we designed for the purpose of training science teachers to teach for creativity. The Moodle platform was used to host the training. To ensure that trainees would benefit from this distance learning program, we designed the instructional activities according to the Community of Inquiry framework, which consists of three main elements: cognitive presence, teaching presence and social presence. Nineteen science teachers in Oman engaged in the training, which lasted for 36 working days. To measure the effectiveness of the training program on science teachers’ instructional practices related to teaching for creativity, we used a pre–post one-group quasi-experimental design. An observation form was used to assess and document participants’ practices. Paired t test results showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in science teachers’ practices related to teaching for creativity. During the implementation of the training program, we observed that cognitive presence and teaching presence were the two most successful elements of the program. The training program involved participants in different instructional activities which were designed to help them understand the role of creativity in science; a wide range of instructional techniques designed to nurture students’ creativity was discussed. The program also provided participants with opportunities to relate their practices to teaching for creativity and to design and implement lesson plans geared toward teaching for creativity. However, the social presence element was not satisfying. Participants’ virtual interactions with each other and their engagement in online discussion forums were limited. This paper provides some recommendations to overcome such pitfalls.

Keywords

Community of inquiry framework Distance learning In-service science teachers Moodle Professional development Teaching for creativity 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Curriculum and Instruction Department, College of EducationSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman
  2. 2.Ministry of EducationAd Dakhiliyah GovernorateNizwaOman

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