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Evidence-based Continuous Professional

Development (CPD) of chemistry teachers

in an inquiry laboratory

Rachel Mamlok- Naaman

Based on the PhD of Dr. Dorit Taitelbaum


Dimensions in Science Education, 1-6.12.2016. 1
Chania, Crete

1. The Inquiry-type Chemistry Laboratory

in Israel (ICL)
2. Accomplished teaching in the Inquiry Chemistry
3. Evidence-based CPD model for accomplished
4. The study

The Inquiry-type Chemistry Laboratory
in Israel (ICL)

100 inquiry-type experiments

Main characteristics:
Working in small groups
Phrasing different inquiry question
Preparing Hot Report
Having students presentation
Integral part of students final assessment (20%)

Students inquiry skills
Conducting pre-inquiry experiment
Making observations
Raising questions
Choosing one research question
Constructing a relevant hypothesis
Designing an appropriate inquiry experiment
Making and organizing observations
Analyzing and summarizing the inquiry experiment
Presenting the results to the whole class
Raising more advanced questions 4
What do we mean by accomplished teaching in
the Inquiry Chemistry Laboratory (ICL)?


Encourage students to interact professionally, including

sharing knowledge with their peers, community members, or
Help students: solve problems, ask high-level questions, and
hypothesize regarding certain unsolved experimental
Assess students continuously using a variety of alternative
assessment methods
Customize the new activities according to their needs, and
make decisions regarding the level of inquiry that is suitable
for their students
Align the experiment with the concept taught or discussed in
the chemistry classroom.
How should we strive at accomplished

Accomplished teaching should always occur simultaneously with

reflection, in order to improve the teaching strategy.

It should be followed by protocols assembled in a portfolio,

which can be used to demonstrate evidence-based
accomplished practice in science teaching, in an effort to
achieve more effective teaching.

The portfolio should document the activities, interactions, and

behavior in the chemistry laboratory where inquiry-type
experiments are implemented. It can be viewed as a systematic
and organized collection of evidence used to monitor the growth
of a learner's knowledge, skills, and attitudes in a specific
content area.
Evidence-based CPD model for
accomplished teaching: Literature
Lave & Wenger, 1991
The evidence and the activities associated with its processing
foster the creation of a community of practice. The process of
collecting, explaining and justifying these evidence sources
therefore helps in enhancing teachers development towards
accomplishment in their practice.

Klenowski, 2002
The portfolio used for CPD purposes can include materials
and samples of work that provide evidence for critical examination
of teaching and learning practices.
Yamagata-Lynch, 2001
In this community of practice the teachers supported each other,
shared their knowledge, gave feedback to each other regarding
evidence or a vignette of video, etc., and reflected on their practice.

MamlokNaaman, Navon, Carmeli & Hofstein, 2003

The workshop provided an environment of support, collegiality, and
collaboration with professional researchers and other teachers who
teach the same or related subjects, in a milieu that encourages
teachers to reflect on their classroom practice and on the results of
their research efforts.
Eilks & Ralle, 2002
The lectures that those teachers attended at the
workshop enabled them to undergo a
conceptual change and to realize that a
reflective study has its own value and is indeed
beneficial to their work (Elkis & Ralle, 2002).

The Evidence-based CPD Model for
Chemistry Teachers

Development of learning materials

(teacher's guide)

Summer induction course

Classroom-laboratory Workshop

Evidence-based portfolio Forum on the web

The study

Research question

What kind of change did the chemistry teachers

undergo while participating in an inquiry-type
evidence based professional development ?

Taitelbaum, Mamlok-Naaman, Carmeli & Hofstein, 2008

Research population

7 high-school chemistry teachers participated in the

study each year, during 3 years.
(In the first year, a pilot study was conducted)

Each teacher had a different professional background

All participating teachers were novice to the inquiry


Research tools
Several qualitative research tools
Classroom-laboratory observations
Three teachers were observed and videotaped during 2-3
inquiry-type activities each year
Semi-structured in-depth interviews with each teacher immediately
after each observation
Teacher portfolio
Each teacher was asked to build a portfolio concerning the
whole year
Documentation of the workshops
All the workshops meetings were documented using 13

Data analysis

A diversity of qualitative research tools

Steps in the process of analysis

Transcription of the videotapes, interviews, workshops

Definition of categories and criteria
Interpretation to the data

The multiple sources enable us to validate

the results and make triangulations 14
Data analysis
Examples of categories

Changing the teaching style from frontal

teaching to small cooperative group

Changing the teaching style regarding

phrasing inquiry questions

Data analysis
Group work

What is the ratio between

frontal teaching and
cooperative teaching in
small groups?
Changing the teaching style
from frontal teaching How long does the
to small cooperative teacher stay and discuss
group teaching issues in each group?

Where is the teacher

located in the room,
during the lesson?
From frontal teaching to small cooperative group teaching
Videotape recordings results

Category At the beginning After five months

The time until the teacher

approached the first group 03:42 sec 00:23 sec

The average time the teacher

spent with each group 00:15 sec sec 00:39

The average time of not

approaching any group 01:20 sec 00:27 sec

Discussion with the students in the Hardly any discussion;

groups Mostly discussions
mostly watching what they do

Total percentage of time

that the teacher approached the 40 % 62 %

Data analysis
Inquiry questions

Does the teacher encourage

students to ask diverse
Changing the teaching style
inquiry questions? regarding
phrasing inquiry questions

What is the level of discussion

between the teacher and the
students in the group
concerning the inquiry question:
controlling and read-through?
Phrasing inquiry questions
Videotape recordings
Phrases used by the teachers during the lesson

At the beginning of the first year

Choose one inquiry question
Phrase it as well as possible
Phrase it as an inquiry question
At the end of the first year
What is your independent variable?
What is your dependent variable?

How are you going to check it in your experiment?

Phrasing inquiry questions
Interview results

At the beginning of the first year

"It is difficult to guide the students in choosing a research question
or to decide whether the question is really an inquiry question to
avoid giving them the answer and to avoid phrasing it for them. I had
to restrain myself each time and not reveal too much in order to let them
do the thinking".

At the end of the first year

At the end of the lesson, each group asked me to approve their
inquiry question today they worked very nicely I wandered
around the classroom-laboratory, waiting for them to ask for my
help, but they did not ask for it. 20
Phrasing inquiry questions
Workshop results

At the beginning
Difficulties that the teachers mentioned

What is a good inquiry question

While circulating and approaching the different groups

in the laboratory, how can I recognize a good
inquiry question

How can I guide but not reveal information

The following challenges emerged from the data analysis:
Enacting the inquiry method puts a lot of stress
on the teachers.
The change in the teachers pedagogical knowledge
and content knowledge is a long-term process.
Preparing, presenting, and discussing pieces of
evidence in the workshop is time-consuming
(although it promotes teachers changes).
Creating a community of practice is essential
in the process of professional development.
The teachers need a lot of support and scaffolding
from the CPD providers during the process of change.
What caused the change?

Participating in the workshop and sharing teaching


Preparing and presenting pieces of evidence-based on

artifacts from their classroom-laboratory

Scaffolding from the CPD providers

Evidence-based Portfolio

The teachers claimed that:

The fact that they were encouraged to document their

work, together with the process of investigating it
during the inquiry-type experiments, contributed
significantly to their work.

They became more reflective, and their anxiety

concerning the implementation of the program
decreased. 24
From frontal teaching to small cooperative
group teaching
Words used by the teachers that reflect
how they felt while teaching by the inquiry approach

At the beginning At the end

Difficulties Awareness
Insecurity Reflective thinking
Frightening Strengthening

Not sure Knowledge of how to

overcome difficulties

Many thanks to:

Professor Avi Hofstein

Dorit Taitelbaum

The teachers and students who

participated in the study

Thank you!