Using Research to Promote Action in Earth Science Professional Development for Teachers
This chapter shows how research has underpinned the development of the Earth Science Education Unit’s professional development initiative at all stages, by indicating its necessity, effectiveness and success.
Pre-ESEU research showing the poor educational backgrounds of the science teachers teaching the Earth science component of the National Curriculum for Science, their dependence on science textbooks written for pupils and on their colleagues, the lack of practical, investigational and field activities in their teaching and their low usage of Earth science materials and professional development
Pre-ESEU research into problems with the Earth science content of syllabuses and examinations
Textbook analysis, showing the poor quality of many of the textbooks used by science teachers
Misconception analysis, showing the wide range of misconception in the system
High level of post-workshop evaluation maintained throughout the initiative
Research demonstrating the impact of ESEU workshops on teaching in schools
Large numbers of teachers and trainee teachers who have participated in ESEU workshops across the UK
Increasing take-up of ESEU workshops by teacher education institutions across the country
Continuing support and encouragement of ESEU by the oil industry through its unique industry/education partnership in maintaining the little gem
This research around necessity, effectiveness and success has enabled ESEU to develop guidance for others planning to develop similar initiatives elsewhere in the world.
KeywordsProfessional Development Science Teacher Earth Science National Curriculum Continue Professional Development
I am most grateful to Annette Thomas of Oil & Gas UK and Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, for their long-term financial and business support. I am also very grateful to Peter Kennett for co-running the pilot ESEU; to Bernadette Callan for managing ESEU for much of its history; to the successive Chairs of the ESEU Steering Committees, Martin Whitely and Steve Harris and to all the ESEU facilitators and members of the Central Team at Keele, past and present, who have supported the ESEU so strongly over many years.
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