Masaryk University (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN17 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 2064-2072
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1435
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Problem Statement:
Teacher education is one of the most important factors influencing quality and effectiveness of school education. To improve the quality of school education and future lifelong education, it is necessary to support teacher education during all continuous professional development (CPD). Research findings show that teachers’ experience of their own education strongly influences their way and approach of teaching. Therefore teacher constructivism should be functionally included into their CPD. Building up teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, skills and competences, using their own experience from learning and teaching and thus connecting pedagogical theory and practice is the core of teacher constructivism.

Purpose of Study:
This study provides research outcomes, the aim of which was to answer the research question regarding development of a systematic teacher CPD for science teachers including teacher constructivism based on school practice. Research question was: Is it necessary to develop teacher CPD including teacher constructivism?

Design-based research (Reeves, 2006) was the basic research strategy. Case study, observation, questionnaire, interview, analysis of teachers’ products were used as specific methods in the frame of design-based research.

Findings and Results:
The main output of the research was finding that teacher CPD should be systematically linked with practical experience to deconstruct their beliefs connected with their prior educational experiences based on traditional transmitting information to students (teacher-centred instruction). Teachers’ professional competences have to be formed through the systematic combination of three main parts: pre-service, in-service and practical experience in the constructivist approach. During all phases it is necessary to respect the rules for adult learning, which distinguish teacher-learners from student-learners and foster teacher constructivism.

Conclusions and Recommendations:
Proposed solution is closing the gap between teacher education and practice by the creation of systematic constructivist teacher education. It is necessary to improve all elements of teacher education. Systematic and constructivist teacher CPD is possible to develop and to implement using the discovered principles: encouraging the use of the active learning approach, active construction of knowledge and skills, and self-reflection and assessment of learning by doing and understanding.
Professional continuous development, teacher constructivism, theory and practice.