, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 371-388
Date: 20 Jan 2010

Applying a Cognitive-Affective Model of Conceptual Change to Professional Development

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Abstract

This study evaluated Gregoire’s (2003) Cognitive–Affective Conceptual Change model (CAMCC) for predicting and assessing conceptual change in science teachers engaged in a long-term professional development project set in a large school district in the southwestern United States. A multiple case study method with data from three teacher participants was used to understand the process of integrating and applying a reform message of inquiry based science teaching. Data sources included: responses to example teaching scenarios, reflective essays, lesson plans, classroom observations, and action research projects. Findings show that the CAMCC functioned well in predicting how these teachers made decisions that impacted how they processed the reform message. When the reform message was communicated in such a way as to initiate stress appraisal, conceptual change occurred, producing changes in classroom practice. If the reform message did not initiate stress appraisal, teachers rejected the professional development message and developed heuristic responses. In order to further research and improve practice, propositions for assessments related to the CAMCC are provided.