A key element of the OARS project is professional development. This section is intended to outline the professional development components of the project as they happen. The project team will provide recent and ongoing updates throughout the duration of the project. These will be refined at the end of the project to generate professional development material that can be used by others who are interested in teacher education and teacher professional development.
The overarching structure of the professional development involves 6 workshops between Jan 2019 and Dec 2020. The approach to this professional development is collaborative as we recognise the expertise that our participating teachers bring to the workshops and project more broadly. Capitalising on different experiences and expertise is a true strength of the OARS project. As science teachers, religious education teachers, teacher educators and researchers come together, we all acknowledge that each person has something to contribute. Very importantly, we also recognise that all of us come to the project with a lack of knowledge in some areas – for this reason we operate in an explicitly-stated environment of open-mindedness. As we begin to learn about other subjects and contexts, we are willing to learn and willing to forgive any accidental mischaracterisations or misunderstandings of our own subject/context.
It is the intention of the project team that each workshop will (a) recognise the expertise of all, (b) build explicitly on the previous workshops, and (c) have distinct new learning. Any tasks generated as part of the project will be developed collaboratively and be reasonable for the contexts of each participating teacher.