The main outputs of the project will be:
A. An e-system comprising of a set of articulated e-modules for teacher professional development in a web-based environment. The e-system starts with a module at the Gateway induction level (Level I) which determines needs and offers guidance; proceeds to e-modules at level II (a set of independent, but interlinking, e-modules concerned with different dimensions of science education, for example, science content motivation: nature of science; environment issues) and concludes with the potential to be involved at level III, consisting of action-research projects, linked to level II learning.
The contributions of each partner will be the following:
B. Each institutional partner will be responsible for:
C. Each institutional partner, working with the NGO (ICASE) and the relevant national science teacher association, will develop at least one new e-module which complement existing modules.
E-system is a professional training programme in the area of science education and is thus designed for practicing teachers to upgrade their skills and competences, particularly related to pedagogical content knowledge (PCK).
Each teacher, teaching science at the primary and/or junior secondary level, who wishes to be part of e-system, is guided, after engaging with the system Gateway e-Module, to choose one or several e-modules to study at level II. Once appropriate expertise is illustrated, in attributes related to a given research area, the teacher is invited, if they so wish, to undertake, at least one action-research project at level III, in collaboration with teachers from other country(ies) participating in the project (the collaboration strongly aided by the partners).
Each level II e-module, within e-system, will provide teachers with a set of 10 parts, each designed to occupy teachers for about 2 hours in reading and/or interacting with the material/resource (or material cross-referenced). The parts build on each other forming a comprehensive learning package occupying approximately 20 hours. Assignments in the package will form the assessment of progress and be marked, and guidance comments given, by a trainer from the partner institutions.
The involvement of each teacher within e-system is dependent on their professional background, their interest and hence the number of e-modules undertaken. It will be possible, in the case of a teacher who decides to follow e-system, but who is evaluated by the Gateway Module as skilled in all relevant level II modules, to proceed directly to level III (that is, s/he will only develop action-research projects with teachers from other countries).
Before embarking on the Gateway module, each participant teacher will need to prepare for working in the developed e-learning environment (up to 8 hrs). The responsibility for this guidance will be shared by the Coordinator institution, with the collaboration of those institutions which have a large experience in ICT (for example Malmo), as well as each partner institution.
This teacher preparation will occur, mainly, in an e-learning environment. Each teacher then undertakes the Gateway Module (up to 10 hrs). The responsibility for arranging this, and the extend of the Gateway module taken, will lie with the teacher and the appropriate partner institution and will depend on the reasons for following e-system. Depending on choice, teachers (at least the less skilled ones), will be involved in one or more modules at level II. Each e-module at level II is organised in 10 sections of about 2 hours each, totally 20 hrs.
The responsibility for guiding this web-based training will be by each partner, with collaboration of other partners, namely those who have been responsible for the development of the Module II chosen by the teachers. At level III, the teacher project is expected to involve teachers, on average, for 60 hrs, with the collaboration of teachers from other participant country(ies) and may extend over a period of months where classroom data collection is involved. The responsibility for guiding this lies with the partner institutions interacting with each teacher.
The operation of e-system and hence access to the professional development modules, given the need to expand the programme to a web-site environment, is designed to begin in March 2007. Success in following any module, except at the Gateway level, will be recognised across the partner institutions and appropriate certification given to the teacher concerned.
The e-modules will cover a wide range of professional development areas such as: motivation in teaching, formative assessment techniques, use of toys and games in science teaching, the nature of science (education) and action research techniques. Additional e-modules will be added as needs are more closely identified.
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