Motivating Teachers to Enact Free-Choice Project-Based Learning in Science and Technology (PBLSAT): Effects of a Professional Development Model

Abstract

We investigated the effects of a long-term, continuous professional development (CPD) model, designed to support teachers to enact Project-Based Learning (PBLSAT). How do novice PBLSAT teachers view their acquisition of PBLSAT skills and how do expert PBLSAT teachers, who enacted the program 5–7 years, perceive the program? Novice teachers evaluated that they acquired the relevant skills but also expressed worries about enacting the program, due to potential difficulties for teachers. Nonetheless, the teachers enacted the program and identified unforeseen benefits for themselves and their students. We suggest that the CPD model helps teachers develop a sense of personal ownership and customization for the program, through multi-staged support to integrate student free-choice PBL into the formal science curriculum.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Prof. Joe Kracjik and the three anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. We would also like to thank Assaf Masud for his assistance on the radar graphs.

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Correspondence to Sherman Rosenfeld.

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Fallik, O., Eylon, BS. & Rosenfeld, S. Motivating Teachers to Enact Free-Choice Project-Based Learning in Science and Technology (PBLSAT): Effects of a Professional Development Model. J Sci Teacher Educ 19, 565–591 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-008-9113-8

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Keywords

  • Project-Based Learning (PBL)
  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
  • Professional development model
  • Novice and expert teachers
  • Ownership
  • Customization