The PROFILES project
PROFILES promotes IBSE through raising the self-efficacy of science teachers to take ownership of more effective ways of teaching students, supported by stakeholders. The proposal innovation is through working with ‘teacher partnerships’ to implement existing, exemplary context-led, IBSE focussed, science teaching materials enhanced by inspired, teacher relevant, training and intervention programmes. This is undertaken by reflection, interactions and seeking to meaningfully raise teacher skills in developing creative, scientific problem-solving and socio-scientific decision-making abilities in students. The measures of success are through (a) determining the self-efficacy of science teachers in developing self-satisfying science teaching methods and (b) in the attitudes of students toward this more student-involved approach. Dissemination of approaches, reactions, and reflections form a further key project target, making much use of the internet and other formats useful for sharing science teacher profiles in an interactive forum.
PROFILES involves the development of teachers on four fronts (teacher as learner, teacher as effective teacher, teacher as reflective practitioner, teacher as leader) consolidating their ownership of society-led, IBSE approaches and incorporating use-inspired research, evaluative methods and stakeholder networking. The project disseminates its innovation with trained lead teachers spearheading further teacher development at pre- and in-service levels and initiating a series of workshops for key stakeholders nationwide. The project focuses on ‘open inquiry approaches’ as a major teaching target and pays much attention to both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of students in the learning of science. The intended outcome is school science teaching becoming more meaningful, related to 21st century science and incorporating interdisciplinary socio-scientific issues and IBSE-related teaching, taking particular note of gender factors.