Effective secondary science teacher professional development and growth: a Queensland case study

PhD by Publication

Lembo, Kay Ann. 2021. Effective secondary science teacher professional development and growth: a Queensland case study. PhD by Publication Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/q72qv

Effective secondary science teacher professional development and growth: a Queensland case study

TypePhD by Publication
AuthorLembo, Kay Ann
1. FirstProf Brad Carter
2. SecondDr Christine McDonald
2. SecondAngela Fitzgerald
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages253
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/q72qv

Science education remains a priority for researchers and governments, with the quality of science teaching and its impact on student learning being of central importance. Teaching quality arising from the experience, knowledge (both content and pedagogical) and skills of the teacher has a demonstrably positive influence on student achievements, particularly when teachers engage with professional development throughout their career. Underpinning the scientific knowledge of teachers is their epistemological understanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry as the fundamental basis for scientific advancement.

The research presented here investigates secondary school science teacher professional development in Queensland, Australia, and within the frame-work of modern educational theory. In this thesis therefore, the aim is to gain a better understanding of Professional Development (PD) opportunities for science teachers in terms of content knowledge of the different scientific domains. This thesis combines a series of academic papers and book chapters centered on secondary science teaching.

Following a brief introduction to the context and significance of the study (Chapter 1), the thesis begins with Paper 1 (Chapter 2), a comprehensive literature review of studies related to in-service secondary science teachers' science PD, with a focus on teacher science content knowledge. The re-search examines relevant international and Australian educational trends and practices. Next, a quantitative enquiry was undertaken into secondary science teacher confidence teaching junior (Years 7 to 10) secondary science and their related interest for professional development (PD) (Chapter 3). The paper provides a better understanding and trends of the relationship between teacher knowledge (content knowledge (CK) and pedagogical con-tent knowledge (PCK)) and requirements for PD within the specific focus on Australian Science curriculum.

Paper 3 (Chapter 4) presents a design for teacher industry internship for enhancing teacher understanding of the nature of science through participating in authentic, real world science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences. The components and the capacity of the teacher industry internship model to create change in teacher NOS understanding and influence teacher growth is then analysed across the four change do-mains for teacher professional growth. Chapter 5 and 6 (Book chapters 1 and 2) provides a mechanism to support an early understanding for preservice science teachers so they can adopt the practices of incorporating authentic, real-life contexts and concepts in their teacher development. The work thus focuses on reinforcing the concept of role NOS and maintaining currency with cutting-edge scientific developments and integrating them into their classroom instruction.

The thesis concludes with a short summary and synthesis of relevant re-search findings and the implications for future teacher professional development programs for enhancing science teachers' knowledge (CK and PCK), their understanding of the nature of science (NOS) concepts, and their professional growth (Chapter 7). In overall terms, the thesis provides evidence for the need for multiple complementary approaches to science teacher professional development which are guided by both pedagogical understanding and surveys of the specific teacher cohorts served.

Keywordsscience education, secondary education, teacher professional development, content knowledge, nature of science, IMTPG
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
390306. Secondary education
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsCentre for Astrophysics
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