Project II-8: Implementation of concept-context biology education
|Researcher:||M. Dam, MSc (PhD candidate)|
|Supervisor:||Professor dr. J.H. van Driel|
|Co-supervisor:||dr. F.J.J.M. Janssen|
The current educational reform in biology education is based on presenting knowledge within a context. This reform will be implemented in the upcoming years. As teachers often interpret reforms as distinct from how it was intended, it is important to both help teachers understand the meaning and know what difficulties teachers face when implementing this reform. Research shows that for teachers to understand the meaning, they should not only teach the new reform, but also be involved as designers. Teachers have a set of beliefs about education. Top-down implementation of educational reforms often fails because it does not take these beliefs into account. This research will analyze teacher’ beliefs about instruction and connect these to the context-based reform. Teacher’ beliefs are often not explicit. Therefore we develop a tool consisting of important instructional components in order to elicit and structure the beliefs. Once their most important beliefs are known, we will help teachers elaborate those beliefs towards context-based education in a professional development trajectory. This research project thus aims to answer the following three research questions:
1. In what way can beliefs about biology education be characterized?
2. Which of these beliefs are good bases for concept-context based biology education?
3.In what way can be built upon teacher’ beliefs to guide the teachers’ professional development towards concept-context based biology education?
To answer the first research question, interviews with participating biology teachers will be conducted. In these interviews, teachers will use a tool we developed to elicit and structure their beliefs on regular, ideal and concept-context instruction. After examination of these beliefs, they will be compared to literature and designers of the context-based reform to answer the second research question. The third question focuses on if and how teachers’ beliefs change in the context of a professional development program for biology teachers for which an instructional tool will be constructed. Both projects II-7 and II-8 are part of a research program called DUDOC in the Netherlands. This research program aims to support current educational reforms in science by funding science teachers to do PhD research.