Teacher Education and Educational Research in the Mediterranean (TEERM)

Presented a paper at the TEERM international conference organised by the Faculty of Education (University of Malta) between the 8-9 June 2018. The paper is co-authored by Dr Josette Farrugia, Dr James Calleja, Ms Mariella Galea and Mr Stephen Bezzina.

Farrugia Josette & Calleja James – University of Malta

Galea Mariella & Bezzina Stephen – Ministry for Education & Employment (Malta)

Investigating the effectiveness of a continuing professional development programme: A study of mathematics and science CPD leaders in Malta

This paper reports on the views and experiences of continuing professional development (CPD) leaders during a six-month long programme as part of the MaSDiV (Supporting Mathematics and Science teachers in addressing Diversity and promoting fundamental Values) project. CPD is usually characterised by two key design features: content and structure. The MaSDiV project content, based on three modules, focused on inquiry-based learning (IBL): (1) to address achievement-related diversity; (2) in real-life contexts and (3) for intercultural learning.

In this paper, the authors elaborate on the structural features of the CPD design and investigate the effectiveness of the design adopted from the CPD leaders’ perspective, in terms of the (i) acquisition of the intended knowledge and skills (ii) provision of teachers’ support. For the purpose of the project, two parallel programme designs were developed; one for CPD leaders and one for teachers. The designs drew on social constructivist and socio-cultural theories of learning. From this perspective, participants learn with and from others by participating in social practices through ongoing active engagement. These two CPD programmes were intended to allow participants to discuss pedagogical issues and engage reflectively about practice. The programme for CPD leaders consisted of monthly face-to-face sessions, online and independent learning, while that for teachers involved weekly face-to-face meetings. During the weekly meetings, CPD leaders introduced teachers to the MaSDiV course materials and assisted them with planning and implementation. Data, from the CPD leaders, were gathered using two online questionnaires, administered pre- and post- the implementation of the CPD programme. The questionnaire sought reasons for participating in the MaSDiV project, participants’ expectations prior to their participation and their experiences of how the structural features of the CPD design supported participants in acquiring the intended knowledge and skills, and in providing adequate support to teachers.

European Conference on Research in Chemical Education (ENRICE)

The European Conference on Research in Chemistry Education (ECRICE) is the forum for researchers and teachers to exchange experiences on research in chemical education carried out at all education levels – from primary school up to graduate studies, as well as to promote lifelong learning and enthusiasm in chemistry.

The paper, presented by Dr Josette Farrugia, was titled:  Investigating the effectiveness of a teacher education programme that promotes inclusive STEM education. It presents results from a study focusing on science teachers’ and in particular chemistry teachers’ experience of the MaSDiV course and their attempts to address diversity and promote fundamental values through STEM education.