1 Science and Technology Learning Lab, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Science and Technology Learning Lab, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
Professional development schools (PDS) have been a source of inspiration for a new approach at the teacher education in Aarhus (DK). The importance of student teachers’ inquiries in authentic settings is in line with various research-based approaches to educating (science) teachers. The purpose of the study presented is to contribute to the further development of the local PDS initiative, examine how the PDS setting can frame first year pre-service science teachers’ inquiries and understand their learning through such authentic instructional tasks. Two examples, which meet the five criteria for an authentic instructional task, are presented. Ten students were asked to describe their experiences of working with these tasks during repeated interviews. They refer to concrete examples of school students’ activities and/or learning when reflecting on their own learning and to dialogue with school students. The small groups gave the student teachers the opportunity to get on a level with the school students. They also refer to the iterative dimension and the importance of formative assessment. Based on the evaluative criteria it may be concluded that the two examples are successful models for authentic instructional tasks in a PDS setting. In both examples teaching at the UC is closely linked with student teachers’ inquiry in the PDS setting and college teachers, local science teachers from the PDS-school and student teachers cooperation.