"Conceptual Change" as a guiding principle for the professional development of teaching staff
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings : Making Value for Society : - (2015)
Contribution to Conference
This paper describes an attempt to use a conceptual change approach for the professional development of college-level teaching staff. While novice instructors often have an instructor-centered view of teaching and, consequently, use traditional teaching formats, professional development programs (PDPs) are most often based on a constructivist framework that favors student-centered learning scenarios. Prior research suggests that the development of instructors' beliefs about teaching can be interpreted in terms of conceptual change, and that PDPs should take this perspective into account. This study documents instructors' changes in the perception of their own teaching in the context of a professional development seminar based on conceptual change. A questionnaire was used to measure initial conceptions about teaching before participation in the PDP. The identical questionnaire was administered a second time after the seminar and again three months later. We compare different formats of the seminar as well as instructors from different academic disciplines. The focus is laid especially on instructors in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) versus non-STEM disciplines. The data obtained suggest that (1) there are differences between STEM and non-STEM instructors with respect to their initial beliefs, (2) there is noticeable development of the instructors' conceptions about teaching and learning as a result of participation in the program, and (3) different formats of the same program may display widely differing effectiveness.
000: Allgemeines, Wissenschaft
370: Erziehung, Schul- und Bildungswesen