From the S&C Archives: Professional Development
Professional Development for You
No Child Left Behind’s emphasis on accountability and demands for a quality teacher in every classroom has spawned a cottage industry of providers of professional development. How can educators begin to sort through them all to find the right choice? This article provides some suggestions for providing relevant, meaningful professional development.
Perspectives: Making the Most of Professional Development
Teacher preparation programs help teachers build a foundation for entering the teaching profession. However, learning to teach science cannot be achieved in a mere four years—it is a lifelong endeavor. Teachers continue to learn new science content and new teaching strategies throughout their careers. As professionals, they consistently update their knowledge and skills, reflecting on and improving their practice. Professional development (PD), in all of its forms, is the key to science teacher learning. This month’s column discusses how science teachers can benefit from PD experiences.
Plants and Pollution
Investigations with Wisconsin Fast Plants can make the subject matter come alive…or dead, depending on the experimental treatment. This became apparent when a university-based teacher educator and a fifth-grade teacher collaborated on a professional development experience aimed at increasing understanding of how science inquiry could be used effectively in diverse classrooms. This professional development experience centered on creating a unit for fifth-grade students as a part of a study of plant and animal cycles. Although the unit included numerous activities, this article focuses on the inquiry portion of the study, as students investigated how pollutants might affect plants.