What is it about?

Current science education reform initiatives require fundamental changes in how biology is taught and in how teachers are supported to engage in alternative ways of science teaching. One current approach is the incorporation of inquiry based science education (IBSE) into the everyday school science curriculum. To help make this change happen, teachers need opportunities to participate in a variety of professional development experiences that foster an understanding of science and inquiry based science teaching. Research has also shown that learning that includes activities based outside the classroom is highly motivating, not only for children but also for teachers.

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Why is it important?

The paper emphasises the following: (1) The importance of a CPD program design for presenting IBSE to biology teachers; (2) The use of both formal and informal contexts in CPD program; (3) The approach used within the CPD was important to solve teaching misconceptions about IBSE and to understand how to approach biodiversity and climate change in scholar context. (4) The possibility the teachers had, at the end of the program, to experience, evaluate and reflect on their own practice.


Be involved in this work has been very rewarding, since it obliged me to go deep inside the role of education of teachers, follow education methodologies as well as contributing for teachers motivation to develop a better perception of IBSE methodology. It was also rewarding to see that results go in accordance with EU recommendations in improving teachers’ academic and professional training. In future it would be nice to follow whether changes in teachers’ views towards more reform-based instructional strategies actually result in increased use of these inquiry-based strategies in their classrooms given the many external constraints (testing, content standards, school culture) influencing teachers’ instructional choices.

Maria Amélia Martins-Loução
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes. Faculdade de Ciências. Universidade de Lisboa

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Inquiry-based science learning in the context of a continuing professional development programme for biology teachers, Journal of Biological Education, April 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/00219266.2019.1609566.
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