Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 971-992

Using Action Research to Engage K-6 Teachers in Nature of Science Inquiry as Professional Development

  • Theresa A. CullenAffiliated withJeannine Rainbolt College of Education, University of Oklahoma Email author 
  • , Valarie L. AkersonAffiliated withDepartment of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University
  • , Deborah L. HansonAffiliated withHanover College

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Teachers are required to work with data on a daily basis to assess the effectiveness of their teaching strategies, but may not approach it as research. This paper presents a reflective discussion of how and when a professional development team used an action research project to help 12 K-6 teachers explore the effectiveness of reform based Nature of Science (NOS) teaching strategies in their classrooms. The team encouraged community development and provided “just in time” supports to scaffold the steps of the action research process for teachers. The discussion includes concerns they addressed and issues related to management and support of the professional development model. Evaluation results are shared to suggest how this approach can be improved in the future.


Nature of science Action research Professional development K-6 Inservice teachers