Science Learning Centres and Governmental Policy for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in England

March 1st, 2006 | RESEARCH

This article examines the impact of the ‘new professionalism’ on the culture of professional development of science teachers. In the era of ‘new professionalism’ there is an expectation that teachers will engage in professional development, but rather than encouraging an intrinsic desire to learn as professionals, it promotes forms of professional development that are often centrally imposed and determined by political rather than educational imperatives. As a result, a culture of low trust prevails that may leave science teachers feeling deprofessionalised rather than empowered and feeling unwilling or unable to take control of their own professional development. The establishment of a network of science learning centres in England, designed to keep science teachers at the cutting edge of science knowledge, affords a serendipitous opportunity to examine how various government policies on continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers might be interacting. The success of the new network will hinge on uptake of professional development by science teachers operating in what is already a highly diverse but fragmented pattern of science CPD provision. It seems likely though that centrally directed policy initiatives intended to enhance teaching and learning will continue to perpetuate a culture of distrust and dominate over other recent government-funded research advocating that science teachers’ commitment to professional learning should be engendered through an explicit focus on knowledge specifically related to the teaching of the subject. Such unintended consequences that result in science teachers feeling a sense of deprofessionalisation may well offer lessons for teachers’ professional learning and development in other subject areas.


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Team Members

Keith Bishop, Author, University of Bath
Paul Denleg, Author, University of Bath


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1080/13674580500479836
Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 1367-4587

Publication: Journal of In-Service Education
Volume: 32
Number: 1
Page(s): 85

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Audience: Educators | Teachers
Discipline: Education and learning science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Resource Centers and Networks