Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 255–267

A Comparison of Rural Elementary School Teacher Attitudes Toward Three Modes of Distance Education for Science Professional Development



Distance education is a significant topic of discussion among faculty at all levels of education. This study produced evidence regarding the attitudes toward three distance education delivery modes for science professional development. The study involved 94 elementary school teachers who were participating in a professional development project. The three distance education strategies studied were live, interactive television (Live); videotape presentations with live wrap-around discussions (Video); and asynchronous, Web-based sessions with streamed video presentations supported by interaction through discussion boards (Web). A repeated measures design was used to analyze the attitudes of the study participants. Data on the participants’ attitudes toward their distance education involvement were collected through the CTLSilhouette™ instrument.


  1. Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, T. (2002). An updated and theoretical rationale for interaction. Retrieved March 20, 2003, from
  3. Annetta, L. A., & Shymansky, J. A. (2006). The effect three distance education strategies have on science learning for rural elementary school teachers in a professional development project. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43, 1019–1039.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brooks, D. (1997). Web teaching: A guide to interactive teaching for the World Wide Web. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  5. Cooper, J., & Mueck, R. (1990). Student involvement in learning: Cooperative learning and college instruction. In A. Goodsell, M. Mahler, V. Tinto, B. L. Smith & J. MacGregor (Eds.), Collaborative learning: A sourcebook for higher education (pp. 68–74). University Park, PA: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.Google Scholar
  6. Franklin, N., Yoakam, M., & Warren, R. (1996). Distance learning: A guidebook for system planning and implementation. Bloomington: Indiana University.Google Scholar
  7. Fulp, S. L. (2002). 2000 national survey of science and mathematics education: Status of elementary school science teaching. Retrieved December 21, 2002, from
  8. Gallagher, S. (2002). Report—Distance learning at the tipping point: Critical success factors to growing fully online distance learning programs. Boston: Eduventures.Google Scholar
  9. Garet, M. S., Porter, A. C., Desimone, L., Birman, B. F., & Suk Yoon, K. (2001). What makes professional development effective? Results from a national sample of teachers. American Education Research Journal, 38, 915–946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hickman, C. J. (2003, March 29). Results of survey regarding distance education offerings. Washington, DC: University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) Distance Learning Community of Practice (Research Committee report).Google Scholar
  11. Koballa, T. R. Jr. (1988). Attitude and related concepts in science education. Science Education, 72(2), 115–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lewis, L., Snow, K, Farris, E., & Levin, D. (1999). Distance education at postsecondary institutions 1997–1998. Rockville, MD: Westat.Google Scholar
  13. Lezberg, A. K. (1999). The role of regional accreditation in providing quality control for distance education in the United States. Staff and Educational Development International, 3, 323–331.Google Scholar
  14. Newton, E., Oswald, R., & Stuart, D. (2002). Delivering standards-based professional development online. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 15(4), 16–21.Google Scholar
  15. Renyi, J. (1996). Teachers take charge of their learning: Transforming professional development for student success [and] executive summary. [ERIC Document Reproduction Service, No. ED 401 251].Google Scholar
  16. Schank, R. (1994). Cognitvearts: We accelerate experience. Retrieved February 22, 2000, from
  17. Sherry, L. (1996). Issue in distance learning. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 1, 337–365.Google Scholar
  18. Skamp, K. (1991). Primary science and technology: How confident are teachers?. Research in Science Education, 21, 290–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Svetcov, D. (2000). The virtual classroom versus the real one. Forbes.
  20. Swan, K. (2001). Virtual interaction: Design factors affecting student satisfaction and perceived learning in asynchronous online courses. Distance Education, 22, 306–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. The Sloan Consortium. (2004). Entering the mainstream: The quality and extent of online education in the United States, 2003 and 2004. Needham, MA: Sloan Center for Online Education.Google Scholar
  22. Wearmouth, J., Smith, A. P., & Soler, J. (2004). Computer conferencing with access to a guest expert in the professional development of special educational needs coordinators. British Journal of Educational Technology, 35(1), 81–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wheeler, S. (2002). Student perceptions of learning support in distance education. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3, 419–429.Google Scholar
  24. Williams, E., & others. (1995). Distance education as a future trend for pre- and inservice education. [ERIC Document Reproduction Services, No. 381 563].Google Scholar
  25. Yates, S., & Goodrum, D. (1990). How confident are primary teachers in teaching science?. Research in Science Education, 20, 300–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EducationNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationUniversity of MissouriSt. LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations