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ERIC Number: ED531938
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 101
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-6182-4
ISSN: N/A
Scientist-Teacher Partnerships as Professional Development: An Action Research Study
Willcuts, Meredith Harris
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Washington State University
The overall purpose of this action research study was to explore the experiences of ten middle school science teachers involved in a three-year partnership program between scientists and teachers at a Department of Energy national laboratory, including the impact of the program on their professional development, and to improve the partnership program by developing a set of recommendations based on the study's findings. This action research study relied on qualitative data including field notes recorded at the summer academies and data from two focus groups with teachers and scientists. Additionally, the participating teachers submitted written reflections in science notebooks, participated in open-ended telephone interviews that were transcribed verbatim, and wrote journal summaries to the Department of Energy at the end of the summer academy. The analysis of the data, collaboratively examined by the teachers, the scientists, and the science education specialist acting as co-researchers on the project, revealed five elements critical to the success of the professional development of science teachers. First, scientist-teacher partnerships are a unique contribution to the professional development of teachers of science that is not replicated in other forms of teacher training. Second, the role of the science education specialist as a bridge between the scientists and teachers is a unique and vital one, impacting all aspects of the professional development. Third, there is a paradox for classroom teachers as they view the professional development experience from two different lenses--that of "learner" and that of "teacher". Fourth, learning for science teachers must be designed to be constructivist in nature. Fifth, the principles of the nature of science must be explicitly showcased to be seen and understood by the classroom teacher. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A