An activity theory analysis of a professional learning program in primary science

Year: 2017

Author: Nguyen, Hoa, Loughland, Tony

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The strong emphasis on STEM in the Australian education system has led to a range of initiatives to promote the teaching of science in the primary schools. A key initiative has been to train specialist science teachers to work in primary schools to fill the perceived deficit in current teachers' pedagogical knowledge and skills in science. These selection measures will take many years to filter through the system. Given this reality, there is an imperative to provide professional learning for teachers who currently bear the responsibility for teaching science in primary schools. The context for this study was on a professional learning program for 12 primary teachers currently teaching science in a school. The professional learning program sought to develop the teachers' pedagogical skills to allow students in their class to practice the skills of science. In short, this was predict, observe and explain. For many of the teachers, these pedagogical skills were a new way of approaching the teaching of the discipline in primary school. The purpose of this study is to explore factors impacting on the participant teachers' implementation of the method they learnt at a collaborative professional learning model. Using case study research design, the study provides insights into enablers and barriers of the application process. Framed by Engestr