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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


A Research-based Approach to On-line Teacher Preparation and Professional Development

Dr. Robert G. Berns.

Constructivist and cognitive theories and research findings serve as the undergirding principles upon which a new, innovative teacher preparation and professional development system has been created. Delivered on the Internet, the system provides a means for preparing preservice and inservice teachers in using contemporary classroom practices to improve their students’ learning. The system was created with a $1.8 million grant from the United States Department of Education.

The system allows future or current teachers to learn about such topics as problem-based learning, service learning, cooperative learning, and authentic assessment. Participants complete a nine-step development process. In the system, participants are grouped into learning communities in Cyberspace that are managed by facilitators (e.g., University faculty or master teachers). The participants then answer questions that lead them through a thought process requiring them to learn various aspects of constructive approaches and cognitive factors, to plan for implementing these practices in their classrooms, to actually implement them, to reflect upon the teaching and learning process, to share their work with the other learning community teachers and the facilitator, and to revise their work, thus creating best practices. The system, therefore, includes reading, development, reflection, sharing, application, and revision. A list of resources for participants will be provided, followed by a summary and question and answer period.


Dr. Robert G. Berns  (United States)
Division of Teaching and Learning
Bowling Green State University

Dr. Robert G. Berns is a professor at Bowling Green State University, United States. The author of publications related to teacher preparation, Dr. Berns has served as director of projects, including federal and state grants. Presentations on professional development and classroom practices have been delivered to a range of audiences.

  • Professional Development
  • Classroom Practices
  • Internet-Based Instruction
  • On-Line Instruction
  • Learning Communities
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Service Learning
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Authentic Assessment
  • Preservice Teacher Preparation

(30 min Conference Paper, English)