Teaching secondary science in rural and remote schools: Exploring the critical role of a professional learning community

Debra Panizzon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Much of the literature around rural education highlights broader issues and challenges faced by teachers in rural and remote secondary schools with little emphasis on the detail of teacher pedagogical knowledge and classroom practice that might be specific to these very different contexts. This is a serious oversight in country like Australia and Canada where the first teaching position for many graduates may be in small rural schools with few experienced mentors in their discipline areas. This is most particularly the case in fields such as the physical sciences. While the key components of quality teaching are relevant regardless of context, it is the way in which teachers apply, develop and implement their pedagogical knowledge to meet the needs of particular students that becomes the real craft of teaching. This chapter explores challenges likely to be confronted by secondary science teachers in rural/remote schools in Australia, and pedagogies and practices that are appropriate responses to these challenges. These challenges include engaging students in small senior classes, multigrade teaching, benchmarking practices that enhance student learning, maintaining academic standards (particularly in senior classes), and using contexts to teach science that are relevant to students and meet curriculum requirements. The implications of these experiences are considered in relation to preservice and inservice teacher education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe professional knowledge base of science teaching
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)9789048139262
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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