Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 287–299 | Cite as

Mapping Changes in Science Teachers’ Content Knowledge: Concept Maps and Authentic Professional Development

  • Barbara A. Greene
  • Ian A. Lubin
  • Janis L. Slater
  • Susan E. Walden


Two studies were conducted to examine content knowledge changes following 2 weeks of professional development that included scientific research with university scientists. Engaging teachers in scientific research is considered to be an effective way of encouraging knowledge of both inquiry pedagogy and content knowledge. We used concept maps with two cohorts of teachers to assess changes in science teacher knowledge. In study 1, 34 teachers developed pre- and post-concept maps in one of the nine different content areas. A repeated measures analysis of six quantitative scores showed statistically significant increases in knowledge representation. Quantitative and qualitative scoring methods indicate that concept maps are effective for assessing teacher knowledge gains from professional development. Study 2 replicated the results with 24 teachers and provided further information about how knowledge changes.


Concept maps Teacher science learning Teacher professional development 



This study was a part of the Oklahoma REESE project which was made possible through the financial support of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication (REC), Grant #DRL-0634070 granted to the K20 Center for Educational Renewal (K20) at the University of Oklahoma. The K20 Center also recognizes the efforts of staff and public educators throughout the State of Oklahoma; the OU Department of Botany/Microbiology; the OU School for Civil Engineering and Environmental Science; the OU College of Education; and the OU Department of Communication, who have participated in the development of this project. Without their assistance and participation, this project would not be possible. A version of the first study summarized in this paper was presented at the Sixteenth International Conference on Learning in Barcelona. Spain (July 2009).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara A. Greene
    • 1
  • Ian A. Lubin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Janis L. Slater
    • 3
  • Susan E. Walden
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboroUSA
  3. 3.K20 CenterUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  4. 4.College of EngineeringUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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