Preparing Teachers to Use GIS: The Impact of a Hybrid Professional Development Program on Teachers’ Use of GIS
This article reports the findings of a 3-year study of a hybrid professional development program designed to prepare science and mathematics teachers to implement GIS in their classrooms. The study was conducted as part of the CoastLines Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers project funded by the National Science Foundation. Three cohorts of teachers participated in the program, with each participant receiving 40 h of synchronous online instruction and 80 h of in-person instruction and support over an 8-month period. Data from surveys of participants both before and after the program were analyzed using correlation, ordinary least squares, and ordered logit regression analyses. The analyses revealed increases in the self-reported frequency of GIS use and enhanced feelings of preparation, competence, community, and comfort with respect to using GIS for instruction. A composite index of all impact variables was positively influenced as well. The statistical analyses found a strong relationship between self-reported feelings of preparation and use of GIS. Some support was found for the idea that feelings of competence, community, and comfort were related to the teachers’ sense of preparation. The findings suggest that a robust hybrid model of teacher professional development can prepare teachers to use GIS in their classrooms. More research is needed to understand how hybrid models influence the sociopsychological and other dimensions that support teachers’ feelings of preparation to implement GIS.