New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Science Teachers’ Perceptions and Opinions Related to Professional Development Needs

Davaajav Purevjav, Doctoral School of Education, University of Szeged (Hungary)


Professional development for a teacher of science is a continuous, dynamic process. They need to respond to increasingly complex challenges today, such as adapting to a rapidly changing technology-based environment, or teaching many varied student populations. Formerly, in-service teacher training (IST) in science highlighted instructional skills rather than decision making, pedagogical knowledge, and reasoning (e.g. Guerrioro, 2017) -- today, these are not enough. In Mongolia, educational reforms in science require changes in teaching and professional development. This study examines how science teachers perceive their development needs from the perspective of their everyday practice. Research questions were (1) Is the evaluation of professional needs related to the perceptions of the importance of specific teacher knowledge components in practice? (2) Are there differences among science teachers by background variables?
A self-developed paper and pencil questionnaire was administered to 203 Mongolian science teachers in 2017. They rated 20 components of teacher knowledge (five-point Likert scale items) from two aspects: how important they are to be included in IST and how important they are in practice. In addition, an open-ended question also asked about their development needs. Demographic information was also solicited. 
As for Question (1) the responses to professional development need areas formed three categories: declarative knowledge domain (62,02%); procedural knowledge domain (22,12%); and affective knowledge domain (15,87%). Thus, the majority focused on knowledge as opposed to skills and attitudes. When the closed items were examined, paired sample t-tests showed not many significant differences. However, weak correlations (p<.001) were found between corresponding knowledge components, revealing that individuals often judged the two aspects differently.
As for Question (2), no remarkable differences emerged by gender and length of work experience. By educational level, perceptions were more heterogeneous regarding procedural knowledge only.
By professional status, several differences (p<.001) emerged between sub-samples regarding the declarative domain.
The findings indicate that science teachers’ specific professional development needs may call for more flexibility from compulsorily IST training, e.g.  modular curricula or instructional methods based on active learning. Also, various forms of assessment could also be offered. The findings might be of interest to educational policy makers as well.

Keywords: science teachers, professional development, teachers’ perceptions;


[1] Bouwma-Gearhart, J. Science Faculty Improving Teaching Practice: Identifying Needs and Finding Meaningful Professional Development. International Journal of teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 24 (2), 2012, 180-188.
[2] Chval, K., Abell, S., Pareja, E., Musikul, K., & Ritzka, G. Science and mathematics teachers’ experiences, needs, and expectations regarding professional development. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 4(1), 2007, 31-43
[3] Day. C., & Sachs. J. (Eds.). International handbook on the continuing professional development of teachers. McGraw-Hill International, 2004
[4] DfE. Teachers’ standards: Guidance for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies. [UK] Department for Education, 2013. 
[5] Glatthorn, A. Teacher development. In: Anderson, L. (Ed.), International encyclopaedia of teaching and teacher education (second editions). London: Pergamon Press, 1995
[6] Guerriero, S. (ed.) Pedagogical Knowledge and the Changing Nature of the Teaching Profession, OECD Publishing, Paris, 2017
[7] Jensen, B., et al. The experience of New Teachers: Results from TALIS 2008, OECD Publishing, 2012
[8] Lyons, T. More equal than others? Meeting the professional development needs of rural primary and secondary science teachers. The Journal of the Australian Science Teachers. 54(3), 2008, 27-31.
[9] Mansour, N., El-Deghaidy., Alshamrani, S., Aldahmash, A. Rethinking the Theory and Practice of Continuing Professional development: Science Teachers’ Perspectives. Research in Science Education Journal, 44(6), 2014, 949-973.
[10] MES. Bagšlax èrx, mèrgèžlijn zèrèg olgox, xasax žuram A/305. [Teaching certification rule for allocating professional degrees A/305]. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Ministry of Education and Science, 2013, Retrieved from 
[11] OECD Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS, 2009, Retrieved from / 
[12] OECD Supporting Teacher Professionalism: Insights from TALIS 2013. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2016, doi:
[13] Purevjav, D., & Molnár, E. K. A Pilot study of needs assessment for in-service teacher training Molnár, G. & Bús, E. (Eds.) CEA 2016 14th Conference on educational Assessment: Program, 2016, p. 138. 
[14] Purevjav, D., & Molnár, E. K. What do teachers learn from in-service teacher training? Molnár, É. & Vígh, T. (Eds.) CEA 2017 15th Conference on Educational Assessment: Program, 2017a, p. 82.
[15] Purevjav, D., Kis, N., & Molnár, E. K. The relationships of background variables and teachers’ perceptions of their professional knowledge and development needs. Molnár, É. & Vígh, T. (Eds.) CEA 2017 15th Conference on educational Assessment: Program, 2017, p. 51. 
[16] Schleicher, A. Building on High-Quality Teaching Profession: Lessons from around the world, OECD. Publishing, 2011, Retrieved from
[17] Shulman, L. Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review 57(1), 1987, 1-23. 


Back to the list


Reserved area

Media Partners:

Click BrownWalker Press logo for the International Academic and Industry Conference Event Calendar announcing scientific, academic and industry gatherings, online events, call for papers and journal articles
Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2024 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy