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Science Teacher Training in China

时间:2013-08-24 21:10:09  来源:  作者:

Science 2 August 2013:
Vol. 341 no. 6145 pp. 456-457
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6145.456-b
LETTERS
Science Teacher Training in China
The most recent draft of the U.S. “next generation science standards” promoted a practice-oriented approach to inquiry-based science learning (1), guided by the 2011 U.S. National Research Council framework for K-12 science education (2). The key question is whether science teachers are able to implement practice-oriented, inquiry-based learning. Training is crucial to ensure the quality of teaching described in the “Next generation science standards” report. China faces similar challenges regarding how to offer effective training.

The Ministry of Education of China began the National Teacher Training Project (NTTP) in 2010 (3) and has invested US$89.6 million every year to provide professional development opportunities for teachers, especially training in inquiry-based learning. The NTTP cultivates lead teachers, who in turn train local teachers. Approximately 68,700 middle school science teachers have taken the 15-day training to be lead teachers since 2010 (3). Lead teachers have provided training courses of 10 to 15 days to about 100,000 middle school science teachers (3).

An effective science teacher training program, in China as well as in the United States, should engage scientists, education psychologists, and excellent middle school science teachers to provide trainees with research-oriented training. My experiences suggest that the NTTP program is meeting these goals. I have designed and led the lead science teacher training program of the NTTP in Soochow University for 4 years. We required the trainees to study science history, research the classic experiments underlying middle school science curriculum, identify problems in science and science teaching, research positive and negative cases of science instruction, and provide inquiry-based science lessons in our partner middle schools and report on the experience. We hope that such thorough training will fundamentally change science education in China.

Xiaoyong Mu
School of Education, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215006, China.
E-mail: szmts@sina.com

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