National Science Education Standards / Standards for Professional Development for Teachers of Science

Professional Development Standard A:

Professional development for teachers of science requires learning essential science content through the perspectives and methods of inquiry. Science learning experiences for teachers must:

· involve teachers in actively investigating phenomena that can be studied scientifically, interpreting results, and making sense of findings consistent with currently accepted scientific understanding.

· Address issues, events, problems, or topics significant in science and of interest to participants

· Introduce teachers to scientific literature, media, and technological resources that expand their science knowledge and their ability to access further knowledge

· Build on the teacher’s current science understanding, ability and attitudes.

· Incorporate ongoing reflection on the process and outcomes of understanding science through inquiry.

· Encourage and support teachers in efforts to collaborate.

Professional Development Standard B:

Professional development for teachers of science requires integrating knowledge of science, learning, pedagogy, and students; it also requires applying that knowledge to science teaching. Learning experiences for teachers of science must

· Connect and integrate all pertinent aspects of science and science education.

· Occur in a variety of places where effective science teaching can be illustrated and modeled, permitting teachers to struggle with real situations and expand their knowledge and skills in appropriate contexts.

· Address teachers’ needs as learners and build on their current knowledge of science content, teaching and learning.

· Use inquiry, reflection, interpretation of research, modeling, and guided practice to build understanding and skill in science teaching.

Professional Development Standard C:

Professional development for teachers of science requires building understanding and ability for lifelong learning. Professional development activities must

· Provide regular, frequent opportunities for individual and collegial examination and reflection on classroom and institutional practice.

· Provide opportunities for teachers to receive feedback about their teaching and to understand, analyze, and apply that feedback to improve their practice.

· Provide opportunities for teachers to learn and use various tools and techniques for self-reflection and collegial reflection, such as peer coaching, portfolios, and journals.

· Support the sharing of teacher expertise by preparing and using mentors, teacher advisors, coaches, lead teachers, and resource teachers to provide professional development opportunities.

· Provide opportunities to know and have access to existing research and experiential knowledge.

· Provide opportunities to learn and use the skills of research to generate new knowledge about science and the teaching and learning of science.

Professional Development Standard D:

Professional development programs for teachers of science must be coherent and integrated. Quality preservice and inservice programs are characterized by

· Clear, shared goals based on a vision of science learning, teaching and teacher development congruent with the National Science Education Standards.

· Integration and coordination of the program components so that understanding and ability can be built overtime, reinforced continually, and practiced in a variety of situations.

· Options that recognize the developmental nature of teacher professional growth and individual and group interests, as well as the needs of teachers who have varying degrees of experience, professional expertise and proficiency.

· Collaboration among the people involved in programs, including teachers, educators, teacher unions, scientists, administrators, policy makers, members of professional and scientific organizations, parents, and business people, with clear respect for the perspectives and expertise of each.

· Recognition of the history, culture, and organization of the school environment.

· Continuous program assessments that captures the perspectives of al those involved, uses a variety of strategies, focuses on the process and effects of the program, and feeds directly into program improvement and evaluation.

Reference: National Research Council. (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.