Remote Chemistry Teacher Professional Development Delivery: Enduring Lessons for Programmatic Redesign

COVID-19 has thrust educators into a period of uncertainty, complicating conventional ways of teaching and learning. We suspect that the pandemic has magnified the challenges that some high school teachers already experience, particularly when they are the sole chemistry teacher at their school. The pandemic has likely inhibited collegial interactions and access to professional development (PD). Our reflections from redesigning a face-to-face PD program to one that is remotely delivered provide recommendations that advance PD accessibility and interactivity to mitigate isolation and other longstanding challenges teachers may face. In this article, we discuss how the cognitive learning model informed emergent teaching practices that guided the transformation of the PD’s implementation for 20 high school chemistry teachers. Our reflections on the PD’s strengths, areas for improvement, and insights alongside participant feedback provide enduring guidelines for fellow teacher educators. Specifically, we forward the importance of conceptualizing theory-informed design principles first, and then modifying the delivery with appropriate tools and technologies. As PD facilitators, we also draw attention to the necessity for flexibility. Remaining open to adaptation during implementation is crucial to advance teacher learning and engagement. We hope our process for how and why our PD program was redesigned will inspire future teacher educators to explore new, postpandemic ways of maximizing high-quality PD experiences.

Wu, M. Y. M., Magnone, K., Tasker, R., & Yezierski, E. J. (2021). Remote chemistry teacher professional development delivery: Enduring lessons for programmatic redesign. Journal of Chemical Education, 98(8), 2518-2526.