The ubiquitous science department occupies an unusual position in most secondary schools. Traditionally, they have been part of the organisational structure of schools, with administrative responsibilities over room allocations, teaching assignments and the management of laboratory equipment. These are important roles, but they only tell half the story. Science teachers are more than members of an organisational structure. They are also members of a science education community which is shaped by their shared understanding of science. The science department as community also possesses a pivotal, if undervalued, role in teacher professional learning.
This book conceptualises professional learning as the engagement of teachers in a virtues-based personal reflection and/or public discourse around the episteme, techne and phronesis in the spaces ‘in-between’ the metaphors of understanding community: meanings, practice, and identity. As such, it speaks to heads of science departments, school administrators and those with an interest in leadership within schools.