A common goal of professional development (PD) is to enhance teachers’ skills, understanding, and pedagogical practices so as to impact student learning (Wallace, 2009; Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007). However, no simple input-output model exists; there are many mediating factors between what teachers experience during PD and the way it’s translated into student learning experiences within the classroom (Desimone, 2009; Guskey, 2002; Whitworth & Chiu, 2015).
Often, evaluation efforts of technology education PD document implementation of pedagogical practices during the lifetime of the program, but little is understood about whether these practices persist once the programmatic supports end (Baker et al., 2015; Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007). Recently, a proposed geospatial technology (GST) and learning research agenda suggested the identification of the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge required for teachers to implement and use GST as a priority for the sector moving forward (Baker et al., 2015).
The current study begins to deal with this priority. the aim of this research was to work out what pedagogy persisted following a PD institute with project-based instruction integrating GST and what factors promoted or hindered sustained implementation of those practices.
Project Based Instruction
Project based instruction (PBI) may be a pedagogics designed to market students’ development of 21st-century competencies (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity; Partnership for 21st Century Learning, 2015) through a collaborative, structured inquiry of an enticing and sophisticated question, problem, or challenge (Krajcik, Blumenfeld, Marx, & Soloway, 1994; Larmer, Ross, & Mergendoller, 2009). PBI also requires engagement within the practices of science, which translates into a deeper learning experience (National Research Council [NRC], 2012). Many GST-integrated PD programs have promoted the utilization of PBI integrated with GST (e.g., Bodzin, Anastsio, & Kulo, 2014; Kolvoord, Charles, & Purcell, 2014).
Professional Development for Geospatial Technologies
GST may be a powerful tool to support spatial thinking, research project , and real-world problem solving (NRC, 2006; Sinton & Lund, 2007). Teachers who utilize GST within student-centered practices in their classrooms provide opportunities for college kids to interact in data collection, analysis, and argumentation supported evidence (MaKinster & Trautmann, 2014).
PD may be a critical component within the overall success of teachers’ development of practices which will cause effective implementation of science and technology in an authentic environment. Developing science content understanding, the intellectual capabilities of their students, and specialized pedagogical knowledge requires specialized PD that specialize in the core ideas within the discipline and modeling of how teachers should present the fabric to their students (NRC, 2007).
Koehler and Mishra (2005) stressed the necessity for authentic, project-based PD activities to assist teachers develop this data of the way to teach content with technology effectively. to show effectively with GST, teachers must build their knowledge, skills, and practices before they will implement lessons with students and realize instructional changes that ultimately cause student learning gains (Desimone, 2009; Guskey, 2000). additionally , PD must help teachers integrate knowledge of GST into their existing schema (Coulter, 2014; Kolvoord et al., 2014).
As technology has been infused into most faculties , and with greater accessibility of GST tools like ArcGIS online and Google Earth, teachers can now specialise in more sophisticated, student-centered technologies. so as to supply teachers with effective PD around GST and PBI, facilitators should immerse teachers during a real-life problem which involves the examination of spatial data (Borko, 2004; Loucks-Horsley, Love, Stiles, Mundry, & Hewson, 2003). As teachers grapple with spatial data to resolve a drag , they’re ready to experience many of an equivalent issues and struggles students encounter.
By becoming a learner of the content via immersion in inquiry, teachers broaden their own understanding and knowledge of the content they’re addressing with their students (McAuliffe & Lockwood, 2014; Moore, Haviland, Whitmer, & Brady, 2014). Experiences should specialise in teaching with GST and on learning more advanced tools as they become necessary for the exploration at hand (Barnett et al., 2014; McClurg & Buss, 2007).
Providing lessons and datasets which will be used immediately in classrooms supports implementation, but it’s important to permit for a few adaptation of the teaching materials to satisfy teachers’ needs (Kolvoord et al., 2014; Moore et al., 2014; Stylinkski & Doty, 2014). it’s also imperative that teachers understand the idea behind the lesson design, so when changes are made, critical components are maintained (Singer, Marx, & Krajcik, 2000).