Exploring a Model of Situated Professional Development: Impact on Classroom Practice
ABSTRACT A hallmark of current science education reform involves teaching through inquiry. However, the widespread use of inquiry-based
instruction in many classrooms has not occurred (Roehrig and Luft in Int J Sci Educ 26:3–24, 2004; Schneider et al. in J Res Sci Teach 42:283–312, 2005). The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a professional development program on middle school science
teachers’ ability to enact inquiry-based pedagogical practices. Data were generated through evaluation of teacher practice
using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) (Sawada et al. in School Sci Math 102:245–253, 2002) at three distinct junctures, before, during, and after the professional development treatment. Analysis of teacher-participant
post-institute reflections was then utilized to determine the perceived role of the various institute components. Statistical
significant changes in RTOP scores indicated that the teachers were able to successfully transfer the enactment of the inquiry-based
practices into their classrooms. The subsequent discussion provides connection between these pedagogical changes with use
of professional development strategies that provide a situated learning environment.
KeywordsProfessional development–Middle school–Inquiry–Controlled practice
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ABSTRACT: Using a case study method, the experiences of a group of high school science teachers participating in a unique professional development method involving an argue-to-learn intervention were examined. The participants (N = 42) represented 25 different high schools from a large urban school district in the southwestern United States. Data sources included a multiple-choice science content test and artifacts from a capstone argument project. Findings indicate although it was intended for the curriculum to be a robust and sufficient collection of evidence, participant groups were more likely to use the Web to find unique evidence than to they were to use the provided materials. Content knowledge increased, but an issue with teacher conceptions of primary data was identified, as none of the participants chose to use any of their experimental results in their final arguments. The results of this study reinforce multiple calls for science curricula that engage students (including teachers as students) in the manipulation and questioning of authentic data as a means to better understanding complex socioscientific issues and the nature of science.Journal of Science Teacher Education 23(8).
- Studies in Science Education. 09/2012; 48(2):129-160.
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ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated the impact of teaming school-based instructional coaches with science or mathematics middle school teachers to build a community of practice around inquiry instruction. This professional development model began with a 2-week summer institute and continued with four follow-up sessions during the academic school year for the teacher and instructional coach participants. The teachers’ participation in this professional development program with (1) content instruction through inquiry lessons, (2) practice teaching to middle school students, and (3) coach-led reflection improved their understanding of inquiry-based practices and the quality of their classroom inquiry implementation. Professional development experiences that prepare teachers and coaches simultaneously in inquiry and content may help build a shared language for reform and accelerate inquiry instructional changes.International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 01/2014; · 0.53 Impact Factor