Lifelong Learning Programme

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Preparing and Retaining High Quality Chemistry Teachers in Greece

Katerina Salta, Dionysios Koulougliotis*

Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Ionian Islands (Greece)

ksalta@chem.uoa.gr, dkoul@teiion.gr

Abstract

Designing an effective training program in order to prepare and retain high quality chemistry teachers is a complex and demanding task. This work aims at exploring the experiences and beliefs of in-service Greek chemistry teachers in respect with their training and their classroom practices via qualitative analysis of the data collected during workshop activities. In regard with the extent at which the different teaching dimensions were covered during pre-service and in-service training, it was shown that with the exception of pre-service subject matter, all other dimensions (pedagogical, psychological, social, ICT) were either inadequate or absent. A total of 13 factors were identified to have influenced the effectiveness of the received training with seven and six producing a negative or positive effect respectively. Four major obstacles which teachers face in their efforts to implement novel teaching approaches in the classroom were identified. Although the findings of this work suggest that there are some fundamental design flaws in the preparation of a chemistry teacher, the reported obstacles are mainly related to structural characteristics of the Greek educational system. Finally, the analysis of the workshop material also resulted in several proposals and suggestions related with different aspects of teacher training, namely the content, the type and the responsibility for the training program. It is anticipated that taking into account the actual classroom practices, beliefs and experiences of in-service chemistry teachers could aid towards the design of training programs possessing realistic aims and with maximal impact on the trainees.

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Comments about this Paper

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Date: 2014.03.30

Posted by Mariusz Jarocki (Poland)

Message: The paper explores the experiences and beliefs of in-service Greek chemistry teachers in respect with their training and their classroom practices. The authors note that an effective chemistry teacher must be able to analyse the content knowledge, instructional behaviours and the quality, so the design of effective professional development models for preparing (pre-service training) and retaining (in-service training) high quality chemistry teachers is complex and very demanding. The authors point out that the professional nature of teaching necessarily includes knowledge of relevant theories and research findings, but research on teacher education in many countries has revealed that pre-service teachers regard theory and practice to be inconsistent. Then then authors discuss methodology in two aspects: participants' selection, activities of the workshop. The next section is the most interesting because it contains results/evaluations and discussion on them. Very concise and concrete summaries are included in the tables so they are easy to understand and analyse. The analysis reveals the importance given by them to specific characteristics which have been also been identified as more likely to produce enhanced knowledge and skills, in another
cultural context. So the paper has a universal application and I have found it very useful.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.

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