Professional Development in STEM Education . Making a Difference Amanda Smith Director Science Learning Centre North West. https://www.sciencelearningcentres.org.uk/. What do we do? Does it work? What can we do for you?.
Making a Difference
Director Science Learning Centre North West
Does it work?
What can we do for you?
The national network of 10 Science Learning Centres provides high-quality short- and longer-term professional development for teachers of science, including technicians and teaching assistants, in all phases of education.
The main aims are to improve the quality of science education and to bring contemporary science into the classroom.
The National Centre operates residential programmes for the UK; the nine Regional Centres across England run programmes of varying length and nature.
1 - their initial expectations of the professional development;
2 - their action plan from collaborative sessions – what they will do to improve practice;
3 - the impact of the professional development – a reflective record of the outcomes of their action plan.
Validation by line manager.
579 records analysed
Both external studies and internal evaluation show impact on:
Impact is significant and long-lasting
Teachers’ understanding improves dramatically after an intensive course
In physics and in chemistry
In classes taught by non-specialists following the ‘science for non-specialists’ courses, pupils’ understanding showed significant improvement .
And understanding was consistently better than pupils taught by other teachers.
Secondary teachers in particular benefited from attending courses at the network of Science Learning Centres, but too few of the schools visited had taken advantage of this high-quality provision.
The quality of professional development received from external providers was variable but that provided by the national network of Science Learning Centres was consistently reported to be good.
A quality assured programme of professional development support for all science specialisms
Tailor made, sustained CPD for departments, schools, clusters and LAs
Opportunities for schools to contribute their good practice to course development and delivery
Specialist science facilities where schools and partners can meet and learn together
Impact awards to help cover costs
Masters level accreditation
“The real strength of the SLCNW is not only the vast enthusiasm and expertise that their staff bring willingly to the table, but in the completely flexible way in which they work: rapidly understanding our needs and tailoring support for us that is both intuitive and incisive. They have proved to be invaluable in our development strategies, and have a pivotal role to play in all our Science improvement plans in the future”.
Mr Iain Ross, Deputy Headteacher, BurnageMedia Arts College, Manchester