01 SES 08 A, Symposium: Inquiry-Based Teaching and Learning
Commonly, attempts are made to drive innovations in education through professional development that is delivered in a top-down manner. In Scotland, we have developed a TPD module (PISCES) for supporting teachers in developing more inquiry-based science teaching based upon an alternative concept that we call ‘empowerment through professional learning.’ In this view, teachers are regarded as being best placed to think about and solve pedagogical problems but do find it useful to have conceptual tools that enable them to carry out this analysis. This approach recognises the contextual problems that teachers have to deal with, both within and across national contexts – problems that we think make prescription of pedagogical techniques difficult at best and, perhaps, even undesirable. Through PISCES, teachers in both Scotland and Latvia have developed for themselves, through experiments in their practice, an increased repertoire of pedagogical processes that support inquiry by their students. They have developed Pedagogical Process Knowledge (PPK), a partner to Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). This paper explores the Scottish and Latvian educational contexts and compares the resulting forms of PPK that participating teachers developed. Issues in adopting the PISCES’ philosophy, materials and methodology across national boundaries are also discussed.
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