Elements of the program
The face-to-face professional development (PD) program has three elements:
- an initial face-to-face session
- a face-to-face PD session midway through the program
- a final face-to-face PD session at the conclusion of the program.
The initial session of the face-to-face PD program includes an overview of the program and activities related to some of the following:
- strategies for auditing current curriculum programs and teaching practice
- planning, implementing and assessing courses in accordance with the requirements of the State or Territory curriculum documents
- cooperative group learning
- inquiry-based learning
- student-centred approaches to conceptual development
- whole-group teaching and questioning techniques
- outcomes-based approaches to assessment.
The face-to-face PD session midway through the term provides a review of progress to date, identifies and discusses successes and problems, and reinforces understanding of the nature of the changes in teacher practice that the program is designed to facilitate.
The final face-to-face PD session consolidates understanding and provides an opportunity to plan for future in-school PD to continue the process of change in teaching practices.
Implementing the program
In this trial project, the face-to-face PD was planned and facilitated by the CASSP Program Director, someone intimately involved in the development of the CASSP concept and all of the materials for this trial.
The focus areas for the Energy and change trial program are:
- student-centred approaches to learning
- explanation follows experience
- cooperative learning and group work
- discussions and questioning
- relevance and real-life context
- inquiry and investigative approaches
- formative and authentic approaches to assessment.
Should a school or faculty decide to reproduce this program, the facilitator would need to be fully aware of current research findings and current classroom practice related to teaching and learning in science. The facilitator must also be fully aware of the nature of the teaching and learning processes that were the focus of the materials development process and were embedded in the resources. Finally, the facilitator would need to be able to respond in a supportive and educative way to the issues and concerns of teachers as they arose during each of the PD sessions.
The teaching and learning style embedded in the resources should be used as a model for each of the PD sessions.