ERIC Number: EJ1134432
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Comfort and Content: Considerations for Informal Science Professional Development
Holliday, Gary M.; Lederman, Norman G.; Lederman, Judith S.
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v4 n4 p356-375 2014
This study looked at a life science course that was offered at and taught by education staff of a large informal science institution (ISI) located in the Midwest. The curriculum, materials, and agendas for the course were developed by education staff and complemented a permanent life science exhibition. The researcher developed a content test based on the course instructional objectives and lessons provided by education staff. In addition, all participating elementary and middle school teachers (n = 62) were asked to complete an evaluation at the end of each day's session. This included several questions that required participants to reflect upon the content presented throughout the course of the day, focusing on their satisfaction and effectiveness of instruction. Overall, teacher responses on the daily and final evaluations for both courses were extremely positive. However, after participating in the ISI course, teachers' gains in science content knowledge were not as strong as they had perceived. The findings described here can assist developers of informal science professional development for elementary and middle school teachers that desire to incorporate inquiry, pedagogy, and science content into their teacher learning experiences.
Descriptors: Informal Education, Science Education, Faculty Development, Elementary School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Science Teaching Centers, Teacher Attitudes, Course Evaluation, Curriculum Development, Statistical Analysis, Learning Activities, Reflection, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Pretests Posttests, Portfolio Assessment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A