Professional Learning of Science Teachers

  • Jan H. Van Driel
Part of the Contributions from Science Education Research book series (CFSE, volume 1)


Professional learning of teachers, both pre-service and in-service, is a complex process. Only recently research has begun to demonstrate that what and how teachers learn from teacher education and professional development programmes has an impact on whether and how they change their knowledge and practice (Desimone et al. 2002; Fishman et al. 2003). Studies on teachers’ professional learning have shown that high-quality professional development programmes must entail a form of inquiry (Little 2001; Lotter et al. 2006) that enables (pre-service and in-service) teachers to actively construct knowledge through practice and reflection (Guskey 1986, 2002; Schön 1983). Moreover, it has become clear that multiple strategies are necessary to effectively promote teacher learning. Several review studies revealed that for strategies aimed at promoting professional learning of teachers to be successful, the following elements are important: (a) an explicit focus on teachers’ initial knowledge, beliefs and concerns, (b) opportunities for teachers to experiment in their own practice, (c) collegial co-operation or exchange among teachers and (d) sufficient time for changes to occur (e.g. Bell and Gilbert 1996; Garet et al. 2001; Hawley and Valli 1999; Hewson 2007; Van Veen et al. 2010).


Science Teacher Pedagogical Content Knowledge Instructional Strategy Professional Learning Professional Development Programme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author wishes to thank Dr. Rosária Justi and Dr. Dirk Wongsopawiro for allowing me to use the results of their studies and Dr. Amanda Berry for her help with the preparation of my plenary lecture and this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of TeachingICLON – Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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