Science Professional Development with Teachers: Nurturing the Scientist Within

  • Michele Hollingsworth Koomen Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Robert Blair University Of Minnesota 132 Skok Hall (office) 2003 Upper Buford Circle Suite 135 St. Paul, MN 55108
  • Elisabeth Young-Isebrand <young142@umn.e Young-Isebrand Monarchs in the Classroom and Schoolyard Ecology Explorations (www.monarchlab.org) University of Minnesota
  • Karen S. Oberhauser University of Minnesota 135 Skok Hall 2003 Upper Buford Circle St. Paul, MN 55108
Keywords: professional development, scientific inquiry practices, inquiry enactments, mixed methods, CETP-COP protocol, mentoring

Abstract

We used a mixed-methods study to understand the nature of classroom instruction and the enactments of inquiry with nine teachers after an extensive professional development (PD). The Summer Ecology Institute for Teachers focused on science as a process and included mentoring by scientists and science educators. We validated our findings using a triangulation approach with multiple data sources: pre-post attitude surveys, classroom observations using the CETP-COP protocol with observation notes at 5 minute intervals, semi-structured interviews, and review of student science notebooks. Our first three findings address the nature of classroom instruction:1) in their classroom practice the nature of the instruction was as mentors for K-12 students as they engaged in scientific inquiry,  2) the teachers’ instructional practices were drawn from their own emerging identities as scientists who practice scientific inquiry in their interactions with their K-12 students (TIS) and 3) the classroom practice of the teachers promoted high levels of cognition and student engagement.  A fourth finding addresses the enactment of inquiry in teachers’ classrooms: Finding 4) while teachers integrated inquiry into many aspects of their classroom instructional practices, there was an unevenness in the components of the inquiry enactments. Implications for PD are included.

Author Biographies

Michele Hollingsworth Koomen, Gustavus Adolphus College

Department of Education

Associate Professor

Robert Blair, University Of Minnesota 132 Skok Hall (office) 2003 Upper Buford Circle Suite 135 St. Paul, MN 55108

Director, Conservation Biology Graduate Program

Professor of Wildlife and Extension

Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Elisabeth Young-Isebrand <young142@umn.e Young-Isebrand, Monarchs in the Classroom and Schoolyard Ecology Explorations (www.monarchlab.org) University of Minnesota

Community Program Coordinator

University of Minnesota

200 Hodson Hall

1980 Folwell Ave.

St. Paul, MN  55108

Karen S. Oberhauser, University of Minnesota 135 Skok Hall 2003 Upper Buford Circle St. Paul, MN 55108
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Conservation Biology
Published
2014-09-17
Section
Manuscripts (Research or Theory)