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Professional development for STEM teachers should be analogous to professional development for other professionals. Becoming an effective science teacher is a continuous process that stretches from preserved experiences in undergraduate years to the end of a professional career1. Professional development for a teacher of science is a continuous, lifelong process. Ongoing professional development keeps teachers up-to-date on new research on how children learn, emerging technology tools for the classroom, new curriculum resources, and more. The best professional development is ongoing, experiential, collaborative, and connected to and derived from working with students and understanding their culture2.
European Schoolnet (EUN) is an expanded Education Network, 30 European countries of the European Union Ministries of Education. Its main objective is the promotion of innovation in education and is one of the key players that support the use of the integration of ICT as a force for improving learning and teaching3. Hundreds schools in Europe dealing with various projects and studies in the school network, trying new learning activities and technologies in the classroom, exploring the use of new methods for STEM teaching (science, technology, engineering, math) give the network the necessary feedback to achieve optimal training packages.
Under European Schoolnet, the European Network for Science Education, Scientix, promotes and supports a wide cooperation between STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) teachers, education researchers, policy makers and other STEM education professionals, with a view to contribute to the development of national strategies for the wider adoption of innovative approaches established through research results in European educational communities for science and mathematics education. The participation of the Scientix enables access to sources of interdisciplinary action plans for STEM lessons, participation to on line training workshops, seminars and elearning communities (Webinars, forum, Community of Practices).
European Schoolnet Academy
The European Schoolnet Academy is Europe’s first online course platform for primary and secondary teachers: On this learning hub European Schoolnet offers free online courses lasting 4-8 weeks for teachers’ professional development.
As a primary or secondary teacher you will:
- Learn about innovation in the classroom and school
- Develop and enhance your teaching practice
- Get experts’ feedback and share your experiences with them
- Connect with like-minded peers across Europe
- Reflect and discuss the role of technology in education
- Feel empowered and inspired to try out something new in your practice
Future Classroom Lab
Regular workshops, seminars and courses for teachers, experts, policy makers and ICT suppliers are organized in the Future Classroom Lab on how existing and emerging technologies can have a transformative effect on teaching and learning processes. There are also plenty of distant opportunities such as webinars and online training to reach out to a greater numbers of teachers across Europe. You find different opportunities on the Future Classroom Lab website. Have a look at the whole training programme 2016.
The community for schools in Europe, eTwinning, promotes and cultivates the cooperation of students and teachers to European schools with multiple educational and social benefits. Using etwinning portal gives opportunities for cooperation from at least two schools from European countries for the implementation of common STEM educational activities using ICT tools. The community in etwining portal provides educational material for STEM lessons, examples of good practices by teachers applying innovative teaching methods.
With Erasmus+, training opportunities are available to staff working in education, both in teaching and non-teaching capacities. Training periods abroad can consist of job shadowing, observation periods, professional development courses or specific competence-building events. Erasmus+ supports training both at education institutions and at relevant organisations operating outside the sector. Opportunities to take part in professional development activities are available to staff working at all levels of education.
Catalogue of courses contains professional development courses designed for school teachers and staff. http://www.schooleducationgateway.eu/en/pub/teacher_academy/catalogue.cfm
Inspiring Science Education International Summer Academy
The Inspiring Science Education Academy 2016 (ISE) is specifically designed for teaching professionals in STEM disciplines and consists of several courses. The main objectives of all ISE courses are to introduce teachers to implementing Inquire Based Science Education (IBSE). Teachers and education professionals will be trained in transferring the concept of scientific methodology into the classroom and linking it with the numerous collections of open digital educational resources to design innovative educational scenarios.
For more details on courses visit the Summer Academy website
1 National Science Education Standards http://www.nap.edu/catalog/4962.htm
3Giovanni Biondi & Marc Durando, European Schoolnet, 2014 .