A Review and Analysis of the NSF Portfolio in Regard to Research on Science Teacher Education

Robert D. Sherwood, Deborah L. Hanson


Several recent policy papers have called for science education to be based on substantive
research activities that provide guidance for the field both in teacher preparation and
student learning. For example, America’s Pressing Challenge – Building a Strong
Foundation (2006) calls for the country to “Invest in research on teaching and learning
that will better inform development of science and mathematics curricula and
pedagogical approaches.” (p.5). In an attempt to understand what the National Science
Foundation has supported in terms of research within science education teacher education
a review was undertaken based upon the publicly available NSF Awards Database in
regard to projects funded. The database for selected programs at NSF contained over
3000 awards for the time period January 1, 1996 to January 1, 2006 however the
percentage of awards that were deemed to represent research studies in regard to science
teacher education were a very small fraction of these awards (approximately 2.5%). The
awards that were identified were categorized by research method, grade level and project
focus. Selected awards were also reviewed to see if the results of the studies could be
found in the science education literature. Implications for policy and the research
community are discussed.


Review;Analysis;NSF;Research;Science Teacher;Education

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