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Amparo Vilches y Daniel Gil-Pérez.
Revista Eureka sobre Enseñanza y Divulgación de las Ciencias
Researchers, Teachers
3 – 10 pages
In this paper authors present some analyses and proposals about a new Master for Secondary Teachers Initial Training, in order to contribute the necessary and urgent debate to better orientate its future development.
First of all, authors see as something positive the change from the past training courses for teachers to the initiation of a professional Master. It was a necessary change, but the Master is not without its faults like a hurriedly organization, a bad organized Practicum without enough time to do the thesis at the end of the master, and bad assignments of teachers and insufficient investments.
This Master started because there were several problems in science education as demonstrated international reports like Rocard Report or National Science Education Standards. In all of them we see the need of improve teaching/learning, introduce new strategies like a STSE (science technology society environment) perspective, experimental work and inquiry based learning. Therefore, this Master must contribute to recruit new teachers and renew teaching methods.
Another important fact is the selection of teachers in the purpose of teaching in the Master; teachers need to be familiar with secondary education and innovation in teaching-learning in their specific area. These teachers should have exclusive dedication to the Master classes.
The main part of the Master is the “practicum”, and the secondary teachers who are tutors must be teachers capable to generate interest to students, and the course programme has to include the collaboration between university and secondary teachers. The practicum has to guarantee the ongoing formation of future science teachers.
The final thesis at the end of the Master requires a careful management and must be finished in a short period of time (one academic year). Despite time constraints this Master has been well received by students in its first year of implementation.
Finally, it is very important to evaluate the adquisition of the adequate skills by students work, and an evaluation of the master contribution to their professional development. An external evaluation will be useful to guarantee the teaching quality and correct any mistake.
This paper shows us the importance of teachers´ training to make the necessary changes in the science school teaching and avoid student lack of interest in science. Here, the authors make an analysis of the spanish system for training teachers, and the new Master for secondary teachers. They propose strategies like take into account the research and innovation in Science Education, the inmersion in Science Culture and developing interest for teaching. The strenghts and weaknesses of the Master are analysed and they emphasize the practicum, the final thesis and the evaluation process. However, the most important factor is that if we want an effective change in science education, future teachers must be involved in educational research and innovation tasks, they must have a good knowledge of science education, and they have to be really motivated to do their work.

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2014.09.12

Posted by Ines Alonso (Spain)

Message: One of the observations that the authors point out is the consistency that should exist between the orientation that the master’s courses should have and the teaching strategies intended to be implemented by future professionals with their students. It’s a matter of coherence, they say.

I agree with the proposal developed to achieve coherence: First: involve teachers who are familiar with secondary education and the knowledge developed by research and innovation around teaching / learning of their specific area of work. Second: Attract teachers who are capable to teach as an open and creative task. Third: involve teaching staff fully dedicated to assure proper functioning of the master

The authors conclusion to this observations is that this consistency with teaching strategies also must affect the teaching classes and additional training (pedagogical, psychological and sociological)

Date: 2013.06.18

Posted by Enza Lucifredi (Italy)

Message: The authors report some analysis and proposals concerning the new Master of the secondary school teachers initial training, which has replaced the previous CAP (Certificate of aptitud Pedagógica).
The establishment of this Master was necessary due to the severe problems detected in education, based on international evaluation and reports of expert committees such as the Rocard Report (Rocard et al., 2007) or the National Science Education Standards (National Academy of Sciences, 1995), focused on science education.
Anyway, as well as in the guidelines specified by the so-called Bologna process, the emphasis is on the need to reform the teaching at any levels, particularly in the case of the teaching of science. The emphasis is on immersion in all the dimensions of scientific culture, from the setting of the problem to the consideration of the relationships between Science, Technology, Society and Environment; by passing through the experimental work to test the hypotheses that lead a search, in order to build consistent bodies of knowledge.
The authors stress the need for consistency between the orientation given to the master courses and the teaching strategies that future teachers will use with their students.
Particular relevance is given to the traineeship that is considered essential part of the Master.
There must be a close collaboration between the Master professors, (especially those involved in the specific subject teaching) and the secondary school teachers acting as tutors: the best effort should be made to choose as tutors the teachers able to: stimulate the student interest, aim to their learning, resolve conflicts etc..
All work must in any case meet to a planning agreed with the university tutor.
I found particularly interesting the consideration that this training can and should also be useful to the improvement of the school and the university tutors, so it can become an instrument of lifelong learning, conceived as a collective work of research and innovation needed to address new educational challenges and promote interest in teaching understood as open and creative work.
Show the need for lifelong learning should be, according to the authors, actually one of the objectives of the Master.
The article does not show direct references to new methods for teaching chemistry.
However, the article reiterates the necessity of a constantly renewed teaching, that stimulates and satisfies the student\'s interest and, at the same time, encourages the teacher to a creative and fulfilling work. The need for collaboration between school teachers and university professors is stressed too.
At the end the authors underline that their Master\'s students have given a very positive evaluation when they worked with a teaching staff involved in research and innovation, with good command of the teaching of Science, interested in their work and therefore able to awaken the interest of future teachers and encourage them to change.

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.