ERIC Number: ED356944
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Improving Learning and Instruction in Junior High School Science Classes through the Role of the Support Teacher. Research Series No. 212.
Madsen, Anne L.; Gallagher, James J.
This paper describes a professional development program created to establish a new role for junior high school science teachers--the Support Teacher program. The program, developed through the collaboration of the American Federation of Teachers, Michigan State University, and Toledo (Ohio) Public Schools, provided a mechanism for developing local experts who possessed the skills and knowledge around which productive interactions with colleagues could occur. The focus of this paper is on the description and outcomes of learning and instruction of the Science Support Teacher. During fall 1987, 8 teachers from 4 Toledo junior high schools were provided with over 60 hours of intensive preparation to: (1) update their knowledge about current research on teaching and learning science; and (2) provide background and guided practice in working with professional peers in a supportive role. The training consisted of college meetings and readings of selected literature related to improvement in the curriculum, student learning, and science instruction. Some support teachers worked in classrooms and observed instruction and provided feedback. A "Teaching Style Inventory," teacher interviews, curriculum documentation, and student assessment were used to measure the outcomes of the program. It is concluded that the program provided the opportunity for teachers to improve the quality of their classroom instruction at a departmental level in their schools. The Support Teachers reported that their students responded positively to new techniques and instructional ideas they had implemented. Moreover, teachers demonstrated increased confidence and competence which resulted from dialogues with their peers and from engaging collaboratively in significant professional growth activities. A list of the literature read and discussed by Support Teachers during their training sessions is appended. (PR)
Descriptors: Cooperation, Educational Change, Educational Research, Elementary School Teachers, Inservice Education, Junior High Schools, Research Reports, Resource Teachers, Science Education, Science Instruction, Science Teachers, Secondary School Teachers, Teacher Education, Teamwork
The Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($3.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A