The development of a model of continuing professional development for teachers of primary science
University College Cork
A new science curriculum was introduced to primary schools in the Republic of Ireland in 2003. This curriculum, broader in scope than its 1971 predecessor (Curaclam na Bunscoile, 1971), requires teachers at all levels of primary school to teach science. A review carried out in 2008 of children’s experiences of this curriculum found that its implementation throughout the country was uneven. This finding, together with the increasing numbers of teachers who were requesting support to implement this curriculum, suggested the need for a review of Irish primary teachers’ needs in the area of science. The research study described in this thesis was undertaken to establish the extent of Irish primary teachers’ needs in the area of science by conducting a national survey. The data from this survey, together with data from international studies, were used to develop a theoretical framework for a model of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This theoretical framework was used to design the Whole- School, In-School (WSIS) CPD model which was trialled in two case-study schools. The participants in these ‘action-research’ case-studies acted as co-researchers, who contributed to the development and evolution of the CPD model in each school. Analysis of the data gathered as part of the evaluation of the Whole-School, In- School (WSIS) model of CPD found an improved experience of science for children and improved confidence for teachers teaching at all levels of the primary school. In addition, a template for the establishment of a culture of collaborative CPD in schools has been developed from an analysis of the data
Primary science CPD , Irish primary teachers' science education needs , Whole School, In School (WSIS) model of primary science CPD , Irish primary teachers' perceptions of CPD , Theoretical framework for the development of a model of Continuing Professional Development , Template for the development of a culture of collaborative CPD , Irish primary teachers' science education profile
Mulcahy-O'Mahony, N. 2013. The development of a model of continuing professional development for teachers of primary science. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.