Martins-Loução, M.A., Gaio-Oliveira, G., Barata, R. & Carvalho, N. (2020) Inquiry-based science learning in the context of a continuing professional development programme for biology teachers.Journal of Biological Education, 54(5), 497-513. DOI:10.1080/00219266.2019.1609566 (IF2020 1,262; Q4 Education, Scientific Disciplines)
The purpose of this study was to examine if teachers who participated in a continuous professional development (CPD) programme were able to develop an understanding of inquiry-based science education (IBSE). The CPD programme was designed to IBSE in both formal and informal, Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) contexts, to discuss its role as a tool to improve pedagogic practises in science teaching and to explore the application of the method in teaching biodiversity and climate change. A qualitative design using pre- and post-programme questionnaires was used to investigate teachers’ understanding and classroom implementation of inquiry. Evolution of teachers’ practises were also evaluated during the different steps of CPD course and served as a checking and a remind of what is really an authentic scientific inquiry. The results of two-year independent courses suggest that the CPD programme appeared beneficial in resolving teaching misconceptions about IBSE. Teachers were able to experience, evaluate and reflect on their own practise. At the end, they developed new approaches to apply scientific inquiry while teaching biodiversity and climate change in the context of their own classrooms.