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PLD inventory for schools

Design elements

Target for support (strengths and needs)

Schools identifying science teaching and learning as a priority within their Annual Plan.

Expected outcomes

  • Ensuring that science teaching in primary schools is responsive to the needs of all students.
  • Building teacher confidence and capability in the overarching aspects of nature of science.
  • Building support for science learning, by acknowledging, valuing, and respecting the differing cultural experiences and worldviews that communities hold.
  • Developing science-literate students with a focus on ‘citizenship science’ for all students, as well as more career focused science. The support will be based on meaningful, authentic contexts appropriate for each community.
  • Learning science through the nature of science strand:
    •  Learning about how science ‘works’ with a focus on ‘doing’ science not just learning ‘about’ science.

Delivery design (who, how long, interactions)

It is expected that schools will be involved for two years. However, the time allocated to individual schools will depend on the identified needs and progress.

The programme caters for individual schools and is co-constructed with the school concerned following a needs analysis. An ongoing review process is incorporated into each support programme to ensure that changes in needs and circumstances can be met promptly.

How will the support contribute to classroom practice (tier1) and school capability?

This PLD provision focuses on strengthening the science teaching and learning capability across teachers and leaders within the participating schools.

How will the support contribute to building educationally powerful relationships with parents, whānau/family, hapu, iwi, and community?

Science professional learning and development includes:

  • the development of teacher knowledge about the value and importance of linking learning at home with learning at school
  • a focus on ensuring that all parents and whānau are supported to understand where their children are currently at in their learning, and what their next learning steps will be
  • a focus on the importance of culturally responsive learning and teaching that values the cultures, identities, and languages of all learners and their parents, families, and whānau.

Methods of delivery and time commitment

  • Cluster workshops
  • Online webinars
  • In school visits: one on one, teams/syndicates, and whole school

Cluster approach

A cluster approach is offered with two teachers per school, committing to a five session PLD programme designed to build their nature of science capability. This assists them to develop and trial teaching and learning programmes focused on providing interactive student experiences in investigating and communicating science that develop student understanding of how scientists work and experience community approaches to science. 

Clusters of up to 10 schools would work together in this programme, engaging in and experiencing science as investigators themselves to build their capability, while supporting each other in the learning.

The programme includes online engagement and discussion, as well as reflective practice using the teaching as inquiry approach. 

School visits by the facilitator are undertaken. Working with two teachers per school increases the likelihood of whole staff commitment to science, as well as leading to increased use and engagement in science across the school community, resulting in promotion of science and sustainable practices.

In-depth whole school approach

An in-depth whole-school approach would be offered to identified schools to build leader and teacher confidence and capability in NZC science. This will enable more rapid building of leader and teacher capability, particularly in schools with identified high numbers of Māori, Pasifika, and students with special learning needs. The level of intervention will be informed by a strengths and needs analysis, and a theory for improvement will be developed with the school.

The approach will engage the school in cycles of inquiry at governance, leadership, and teaching levels, and focus on developing NZC science leadership to sustain development.

All staff will be engaged in whole-staff sessions, and in-class observation, modelling, and support for teachers will be offered. e-Learning and ICT will be used to sustain engagement of teachers.

A variety of data and evidence will be reviewed and analysed in consideration of the impact of the approach on learner achievement.

How is support monitored and measured in terms of outcomes?

Monitoring is undertaken linked to changes in teacher practices and changes in achievement for learners.

What needs to be sustained?

Provision of PLD that builds teacher knowledge in science and capability in the model of science investigation, linked to the nature of science and the NZC.

Published on: 20 Nov 2012