Because of the requirements of chartered science teacher status I will probably end up applying for Registered Science Teacher first. It will take two more years to collect the evidence and for me to know the person who will end up being my principle supporter, either the chair person of the West of England ASE committee or my head teacher.
However, reminding myself of this aim helps to focus the mind on what I should be writing about in the blog.
There is a certain level of knowledge a science teacher has to show before being eligible to apply for chartered science teacher status:
PART A Evidence of professional expertise and competence
1. Professional knowledge and understanding which provides the underpinning base for practice and includes:
a) a broad and up to date knowledge and understanding of science and science curricula related to the nature of their teaching;
b) a broad and up to date knowledge and understanding of teaching, learning and assessment specifically related to science education;
c) a knowledge of students and understanding of influences on them including developmental, cultural, gender and other contextual factors that might impact on their learning in science.
I believe that I can demonstrate this is knowledge I have. I have a clear vision for science education in my faculty and I am familiar with a wide range of pedagogical approaches. I have proven all of this recently for my threshold application too.
2. Professional practice which relates specifically to the development of effective teaching and learning strategies, including those which contribute to enhancing the quality of the educational experience of students and to the wider professional context of science education. This includes:
a) planning coherent programmes of teaching and learning in science that are intellectually challenging, emotionally supportive and physically safe;
b) engaging students in generating, constructing and testing scientific knowledge by collecting, analysing and evaluating appropriate evidence while at the same time looking for and implementing ways of extending students’ understanding of major ideas of science;
c) developing students’ confidence and ability to use scientific knowledge and processes to understand the world around them and make informed decisions through using a wide variety of strategies, coherent with learning goals, to monitor and assess students’ learning and provide effective feedback.
Again the statements above are not that dissimilar from the standards all teachers are held to, and I feel confident that I have examples of schemes of work I have planned and produce lesson observations, examples of students' work and personal reflective writings as well as data on test and exam results to back up the statements above. Although collecting evidence that reaches my satisfaction in these statements may take some time.
3. Professional attributes which are the overarching principles that characterise professional autonomy and relate to self-evaluation, collegial activity, personal responsibility and leadership. Specifically these include:
a) analysing, evaluating and refining teaching to improve student learning;
b) working collegially with colleagues and the wider professional communities to improve the quality and effectiveness of science education;
c) contributing to, and taking responsibility for, leadership, management and development of science teaching.
Again, if I think back I can satisfactorily say that I have done off of the things above in the last few years too.
PART B Impact on teaching & learning
The Registration Board is looking for evidence that those applying have engaged with reflection/scholarship/research that translates into an impact on teaching and learning in science. Eg “Because we introduced X, most teachers now do Y and in subjects/topics A and B, standards have risen” Evidence of impact can be qualitative or quantitative. Ask yourself the question “So what?”
I believe that this is my main sticking point. How can I prove that due to the work in part A I have had an impact on the practice of others and this has improved the experience for the students and the results? I feel in the last 8 months my impact has been minimal, however I have a massive opportunity to make an impact in my new school in the next two years.
The application for chartered science teacher should help me focus what I do onto things that will make an impact and are evidence based. I really hope to be a chartered science teacher by the summer of 2014.
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