ERIC Number: ED465587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
What Evaluation Tells Us about Professional Development Programs in Mathematics and Science.
This chapter presents a review of what is known from evaluation studies about the impacts of professional development programs in mathematics and science education, and their role in systemic reform. Following comparisons of program focus, structure, target population, and geographic scope, an overview of program goals is presented in terms of the following dimensions: (1) increasing teacher knowledge; (2) providing teacher renewal and the opportunity for networking; (3) increasing leadership and empowerment; (4) changing classroom practice; (5) increasing student interest and achievement; and (6) enhancing minority participation. The analysis shows that few studies have included close examination of what happens as a result of participation in professional development programs. Studies have typically focused on teacher satisfaction or other self-reported feedback. Even so, the evaluation climate has been changing, with increased emphasis being placed on evaluations that closely examine outcomes for teachers and for students, using a broader range of data gathering techniques and more robust evaluation designs. Professional development programs intended to improve teacher skills, knowledge, and practices are central to current strategies for reforming public education systems. Despite widely held beliefs that professional development programs are essential, there is little data to substantiate the impacts that such experiences make. This chapter provides an overview of what evaluation studies have told us about the efficacy of professional development as a tool for change. (Contains 40 references.) (Author/MVL)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Faculty Development, Mathematics Teachers, Program Evaluation, Science Teachers
ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education, 1929 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1080. Tel: 800-276-0462 (Toll Free); Fax: 614-292-0263; Web site: http://www.ericse.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Developing Teacher Leaders: Professional Development in Science and Mathematics; see ED 451 031. Update of "Teacher Enhancement Programs: A Perspective on the Last Four Decades"; see ED 407 246.