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The role of practical work in the developing practice of beginning physics teachers

Findlay, Morag (2011) The role of practical work in the developing practice of beginning physics teachers. In: ESERA 2011, 2011-09-05 - 2011-09-09.

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Abstract

The role and rationale of practical work in teaching school science are receiving renewed scrutiny (Abrahams and Saglam, 2010). This paper is a case study which reports part of a larger longitudinal study which used semi-structured interviews to explore the approaches of beginning teachers of physics to teaching electricity during Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and beyond. The interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. One of the emergent themes was the use of practical work in secondary school science. All of the beginning teachers had embedded the use of practical work in their teaching. This paper discusses their reasons for doing so and compares their responses with the rationales suggested by Hodson (1993), Lunetta, Hofstein, Clough, Abell, & Leerman (2007) and Abrahams (2011). The implications for ITE and continuing professional development (CPD) are discussed.