Ten high-school chemistry teachers and two staff members from the Science Teaching Department of the Weizmann Institute of Science who served as coordinators participated in a one-year professional development program aimed at enhancing the teaching and learning of chemistry using Action Research methodology. In Action Research, teachers research their own practice of teaching. The program involved monthly meetings throughout the year at the Science Teaching Department. Here we present two case studies which will serve as examples of the program. In the first study, teachers investigated their students' misconceptions about the electrical conductivity of metals and ionic materials. The second study focused on the behavior of non-science-oriented students and their attitudes toward chemistry studies. The program included an evaluation of the process that teachers underwent while doing their classroom research; the evaluation was done by the workshop coordinators. Based on the findings of these two studies, we may conclude that involving teachers in an intensive workshop dealing with various aspects of teaching and with investigating their own work, provides teachers with tools for systematically diagnosing students' learning difficulties and the ability to change their instruction accordingly. Moreover, the workshop experience supported an environment of collegiality and enabled teachers to collaborate with professional researchers and other teachers.
|Title of host publication||Research and the quality of science education|
|Editors||Kerst Boersma, Martin Goedhart, Onno de DeJong, Harrie Eijkelhof|
|Place of Publication||Dordrecht|
|Publisher||Springer, Springer Nature|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|