In-Service Teacher Training Project On Inquiry-Based Practical Chemistry
The aim of study is to support meaningful practical chemistry learning and research-based teaching at the upper secondary level by designing a model for in-service teacher training. Teachers were introduced the SOLO (= Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome) taxonomy as a tool to estimate the quality of learning attainable for students when performing laboratory tasks according to written instructions that exist in the chemistry books. Research methods employed in this empirical case study were materials produced by teachers, questionnaire for the participants after training and interview of one teacher. The data is analyzed by methods of qualitative content analysis. The main results from the study give information about the implementation of the revised training model in which teachers worked collaboratively and that the SOLO tool succeeded in raising teachers’ awareness of how the written instructions can reflect the student performance in a laboratory. Teachers became familiar with classifying laboratory assignments to the various SOLO levels and understood how using only the verification type of tasks at school would not help students to develop their higher order cognitive skills (HOCS). Nevertheless, only one teacher out of three presented teacher-experimented material according to training goals. The most challenging phase of the voluntary training was the personal implementation of instructional material. Educational design research is a methodical study of designing, developing and evaluating educational programs, processes and results. We shall discuss the results obtained from the second design experiment and introduce the revised model for the in-service teacher training.