CMSE a university school cooperation promoting students subject specific competences and teachers professional development

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C. Haagen, V. Rechberger,W. Knechtl,G. Rath,L. Mathelitsch
University of Graz, Austria
Forum 2014 Helsinki
WG1 : Inspiring the young

Competencies in Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE) was established by the Regional Centre for Didactics of Physics at the University of Graz in 2010. The Aus- trian Ministry of Education set up several measures as reaction to the low results in inter- national student assessment studies: On the level of systematic monitoring, one strategy was to implement educational standards to change the focus of the educational system from input to output orientation. Another initiative launched was IMST, a project to support Innovations in Mathematics, Science and Technology Teaching. CMSE a the- matic programme within IMST - aims at the improvement of students subject specific competencies in Mathematics and Science subjects. The core idea is to simultaneously intervene at the teacher and at the student level by providing a support system of teacher trainers and science education researchers, which helps the participating teachers to ad- dress the concept of subject specific competencies in their teaching practice.

Classroom or schoolprojects proposed by the teachers themselves function as the ve- hicle for the sustainable changes aimed at the level of teachers and their professional development as well as at the level of students subject specific performance, interest and motivation.

On the student level these classroomprojects are designed to promote the progression of a clearly defined set of subject specific competencies within one schoolyear. How- ever to also promote professional development, the teachers do not only carry out their projects as teachers, but they take a dual role as teacher and reflective practitioner con- ducting action research on their teaching interventions. Within this process, teachers work in small focus groups where they analyse and reflect their teaching guided by their coaches. The data collected on the level of students and teachers provide the data basis for educational research performed by the teacher trainers and science education researchers.