Developing Teachers as Science Leaders in Primary Schools
What we did
We listened to the views of primary teachers who are leading science in their school, key stakeholders and hub leaders working with the Primary Science Quality Mark Programme (PSQM). We explored changes in the teachers' attitudes to teaching and leading science.
What we found out
Early findings suggest that the science leaders’ perspectives shifted from science learning and practice in isolated classrooms to a whole-school vision. Learning more about effective science teaching from the PSQM programme motivated science leaders to develop their own teaching, to ‘take risks’ and be more adventurous with their choice of resources and teaching strategies.
Support provided by the PSQM programme to develop subject leadership impacted on science leaders’ understanding, practice and confidence when leading science. There was also evidence that working towards the PSQM award encouraged science leaders to attend to the climate and culture of the whole school and to consider their role in the success of all students. There were some indications that science leaders were collaborating with the wider school community and sharing their practice and expertise with colleagues from other schools. There is also evidence to suggest that the development of an effective science leader impacted on the profile of science within the school and on the attitudes of pupils.
Our research on Developing Teachers as Science Leaders in Primary Schools was carried out to evaluate the Primary Science Quality Mark Programme 2013-15 (White, E., Dickerson, C., Mackintosh, J. & Levy, R. 2016. University of Hertfordshire), funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and to evaluate the impact of RSC bursary-funded PSQM on primary science teaching: (White, E., Dickerson, C., & Mackintosh, J. 2015. University of Hertfordshire) funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
The research has impacted the development of the PSQM Programme.
We have shared some of this work in the following outputs:
Developing Teachers as Science Leaders in Primary Schools Mackintosh, J., White, E., & Dickerson, C. 2016. (Poster)
Developing teachers as leaders of science in primary schools Mackintosh, J., White, E., & Dickerson, C. 2017. The Journal of Emergent Science, (12), 64-71.