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: Children with selective mutism (SM) present unique challenges for teachers. Typically, children with SM have such an immense anxiety associated with being seen or heard speaking they fail to speak inside the classroom and particularly with teachers. This article reports on the effectiveness of a small-scale exploratory study involving 22 participants in a targeted professional development (PD) workshop on SM. Using a pre-post questionnaire design, the researchers explored the potential of PD to contribute to increased knowledge and awareness of SM as well as conceptual changes in the strategies used to support children with SM within inclusive classrooms. The PD workshop contributed to enhanced levels of knowledge and educators' confidence in addressing children's needs and may be a first step in addressing the dearth of literature on the teaching of children with SM as well as inform future professional development needs of teachers.
- Studies in Science Education 09/2012; 48(2):129-160. DOI:10.1080/03057267.2012.738020
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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 12/2012; 23(8). DOI:10.1007/s10972-012-9282-3