This is a conference symposium accepted for ECER (European Conference on Educational Research) 2009 in Vienna, 28-30 September.
Chair for this symposium:
Authors/contributors Michel Grangeat, Geir Karlsen, Allan Blake, Jim McNally and Peter Gray
The following text is the submitted abstract:
Title: Mirror, Signal, Manouevre: Developing Indicators and Instruments to Enhance European Science Teacher Education.
Effects of teaching approaches on learning outcomes: the role of metacognition in developing indicators
Michel Grangeat, LSE/University Pierre Mendes-France
This contribution tackles the notion of metacognition. This notion is considered as central to learning outcomes for it involves the awareness and regulation of thinking processes by learners themselves. This notion seems to be important since, after a peak of publications during the years 1998-2000, it is currently addressed by numerous articles about science teaching and learning at elementary and secondary educational levels (cf. ERIC database). The first part of this contribution discusses the state of the art about metacognition within science education and elsewhere in order to elicit relevant indicators which could underpin further research. The second part discusses the validity of tools (i.e. specific activities and questionnaires) aiming to identify and assess pupils' metacognition in relation to science teaching and inquiry, and teacher commitment in relation to collaborative activities and the introduction of innovative methods.
Evidence, quality and relevance in educational research: the S-TEAM project,
Geir Karlsen, Norwegian University of Science & Technology
At ECER 2007 Robert Slavin claimed that educational research is in the same position as medicine 100 years ago - promoting an optimistic view that evidence-based research could contribute to a breakthrough in the large and important areas of human life that are affected by education. In S-TEAM we have responded to an EC call to disseminate innovative methods (IBST) in science education "which have proven to be effective and efficacious". I will discuss some resulting challenges concerning the basic moral and ethical elements of education which could oppose a narrow and one-sided interpretation of education as a tool for the knowledge economy. From this point of view, I suggest a neither/nor position, showing the need for quality in educational research, but without becoming hostage to a hegemonic 'research optimism' connected to claims for evidence. Not least, I argue that we should emphasize double-loop-learning processes, thus providing another standard for research which includes elements of ethical and moral obligation. Some of the theoretical framework derives from Hannah Arendt and Martin Buber. I will finally discuss how indicators and instruments could affect quality and enhance the potential of learning processes, by drawing on philosophical concepts coupled with empirical educational research.
The Indicators of Becoming an Effective Science Teacher: Inquiract and SCEPSATI,
Allan Blake & Jim McNally, University of Strathclyde
Establishing practices combining pupil enthusiasm and creative classrooms requires evidence of inquiry-based learning experiences in science classrooms, to assist new science teachers in becoming effective. Earlier research (McNally et al 1994; 1997) found that beginning teaching was an affective transition in which relationships with colleagues and pupils were crucial. Inquiract explores interactions between beginning science teachers and significant others. The instrument is a graphic flowchart onto which new teachers map their inquiry-based science teaching interactions during induction (Gray et al. 2005). Because existing instruments for social network analysis use items that fail to capture the specificity of science lessons, the foundation for inquiract's quantitative measurement of performance derives from important dimensions of our existing qualitative theoretical base (e.g. McNally 2006; McNally & Blake 2008). We also measure science classroom environment, as recent studies emphasise the contribution of pupil voice to professional development (Ruddock 2005; McIntyre et al. 2005; Bragg 2007; McNally et al. 2008).
S-TEAM - Theory and evidence in a European Pedagogical field,
Peter Gray, Norwegian University of Science & Technology
Pedagogical fields can be described as discursive spaces in which actors in policy, research, training and practice exert influence over the forms of pedagogy applied in a specific context. The European pedagogical field is an emerging entity which complements national pedagogical fields by providing a space for practitioner-researcher interaction freed from the constraints of national policy agendas. The entry of S-TEAM as a large collaborative project into this European field is significant because it will provide both the critical mass (16 countries, 26 institutions, over 100 staff) and the evidence base to change the nature of the field. As the previous contributions indicate, there are many considerations involved in designing research indicators and instruments. The underlying principle within S-TEAM should be that indicators are not merely the means of measuring ongoing processes, but should themselves contribute to the aims and objectives of the project by stimulating reflection, signalling the emergence of innovative practices and manouevering the relevant actors into positions where they can make useful contributions to the future of European science education and science teacher education.
References (all papers)