No doubt your own school will provide endless PD sessions tailored to your school’s particular focuses. If you are lucky, some of them might even line up with your own personal needs.
There are a multitude of externally-provided PD opportunities available to science teachers. All of them have a cost associated, but schools often cover this if you explain how it will help improve teaching and learning.
Below is a list of PD opportunities and providers who tailor sessions to teaching science.
STAQ holds an annual, day-long conference for teachers of senior science. Key-note speakers, teachers-sharing-practice sessions, trade displays, and networking opportunities combine with a dozen workshops to provide you with 8 hours of PD in one go. It is a conference created by teachers for teachers, so you can be sure that the content is actually relevant and useful.
If you are a primary school teacher, this annual day-long conference is specifically designed to help you. Similar to the Senior Science Conference, there are usually 15 workshops, key-note speakers, discussion panels, and of course networking opportunities. Again, this conference is organised by teachers so you are guaranteed to walk away with beneficial knowledge and resources.
As the name implies, this conference is specially designed for beginner and pre-service science teachers. The evening features a key-note speaker, workshops tailored to primary and secondary teachers, a discussion panel, as well as networking opportunities. You are guaranteed to leave with at least one resource, and a brain full of tips, tricks, and ideas for you classes.
Education Queensland provides PD opportunities year-round, ranging from subject-specific to accreditations to more generic teaching profession sessions. Their calendar is divided month by month, so you find something for a time that suits you best.
The Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority provides a large range of workshops designed to help you understand and implement syllabuses across all subjects and year levels.
Interstate and International
A week-long program run in association with the National Youth Science Forum. It provides participants the opportunity to experience cutting-edge scientific advances, develop resources, learn the current educational research, and develop actually-engaging ways to present the curriculum.
I participated in this in 2015, making so many connections and learning so much that I highly recommend it to any science teacher who is able to attend!
This unique PD opportunity sees teachers across the state (and even country) connect to a webinar series designed to assist with the teaching of year 7 science. Although it has that specific focus, the ideas and resources provided work well across a few year levels either side. This works great as a whole-department PD session as it can be viewed in your own classroom.
This week-long program is run by the Australian Science Teachers’ Association and Questacon. Set in Canberra, participants work with Questacon educators, media and scientists to expand their pedagogy and resources, be exposed to the latest scientific advances, and overall improve their science teaching. It is open to primary and secondary teachers, and scholarships are available.
Perhaps the largest science education conference of Australia, held in a different city each year. Brisbane is the base for 2016, with the conference running 3-6 July.
A truly unique opportunity to expand your science teaching at a global level. Experience Japanese science classes, network with international teachers, and even teach Japanese students.
Work as a research science assistant, participating in the world’s first continent-scale biodiversity survey in this week-long program. Participants connect with their classes online to share their experiences while they are away from the classroom.
While the list above is focused on Brisbane, please contact me if you would like to see similar lists for other cities.
About the Author:
Emily is a secondary science and math teacher in Australia. She enjoys blogging about her experiences, facilitating the ‘light bulb’ moment in her students, and drinking tea and wine. Emily is currently on maternity leave with her first child. You can read more teaching articles from Emily here, or about her life as a new mum over at Actual Mums.