The Value of Identifying a Gap in a Reflective Professional Development Program for Informal Science Educators in a Zoo

Netanel Dwolatzky, Chagit Tischler, Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Zoos are important informal learning environments. We conducted an external reflective professional development program for a zoo’s informal science educators to understand the process and implications of this program. Six educators engaged in an 8-stage program that included self-observation of videos and discussions with colleagues. Educators' ability to change their educational processes was based on their ability to identify a gap between their declared goals and actual practices, or a gap between their explicit and implicit beliefs. The most impactful aspects of this professional development program were video observations, discussion with colleagues, and the researcher's guidance and scaffolding during video observations with educators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-219
Number of pages17
JournalVisitor Studies
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Environmental education
  • informal learning
  • professional development
  • reflective practice
  • zoo
  • zoo education

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