Assessing Teaching Practices Development With Multimodal Narratives

Assessing Teaching Practices Development With Multimodal Narratives

Ana Edite Cunha (Escola Secundária S. Pedro de Vila Real, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8570-1.ch011
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This chapter focuses on teachers' professional development, on the task design and on experimental work, as well as on the role of the teachers' mediation in the quality of student learning. The research problem was how the teacher can promote self-directed professional development, namely, improving the quality of teaching practices to influence the quality of students' learning, in their engagement in experimental tasks and epistemic practices. A longitudinal research methodology was followed during 10 years, based on a qualitative case study, from a curricular approach in secondary education. The analysis of data collection on teaching practices and students' learning over time and the teachers' professional pathways allow to formulate the following conclusions: (1) new traits of teaching practices were identified that promote students' productive engagement; (2) changes to the task design were enough to trigger differences in teachers' mediation, with consequences for students' epistemic practices and their productive engagement.
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The essence of this work was devoted to the professional development of a teacher, focused on improving the quality of his teaching practices (planning and teaching practice), in particular considering the conception of experimental tasks and effective mediation in the classroom.

In this way, a curriculum (tasks) of physics and chemistry for secondary education was designed, implemented and evaluated, based on the execution of experimental work in the physics component, taught in the 10th and 11th years of schooling, based on teacher mediation, to promote students’ productive engagement in tasks and students’ quality epistemic practices.

During the execution of this work, reflections were made on the performance of the professor and subsequent changes were made, when necessary. In particular, the study of the role in learning of tasks in experimental teaching – namely, its characteristics, classroom management, and student appropriation, as well as its use as an instrumental tool – was undertaken to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes, as well as to promote epistemic practices in students.

In teaching, by epistemic practice is understood the work that the student does to accomplish a task with a view to the construction of scientific knowledge, having as reference the activity of scientists. To engage in an epistemic practice, the student has to mobilize prior knowledge and has to build scientific knowledge. Epistemic practices should be induced and improved by the teacher, even those that, in some cases, may occur “spontaneously.”

The question of research that is considered to help solve the research problem is presented below: What aspects of teaching practices (in task design and effective mediation) have changed over time? The main objectives of this research are:

  • To study the influence of increasing the quality of teaching practices on student engagement and on epistemic practices.

  • To characterize the influence of the use of multimodal narratives (MNs) on professional development with an impact on teaching practices.



Being a teacher requires that one constantly adapt to the reality of the moment and continuously update the knowledge to be taught.

After acquiring competences inherent to the activity of teaching, teachers’ professional development and the process of improvement are done continuously, always keeping in mind the goal of achieving excellence. In order to develop professionally, teachers must be careful to update themselves by staying informed about the most appropriate methodologies, as well as all that appear recently.

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