Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 351–370 | Cite as

Flexibly Adaptive Professional Development in Support of Teaching Science with Geospatial Technology

  • Nancy M. TrautmannEmail author
  • James G. MaKinster


The flexibly adaptive model of professional development, developed in the GIT Ahead project, enables secondary science teachers to incorporate a variety of geospatial technology applications into wide-ranging classroom contexts. Teacher impacts were evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively. Post-questionnaire responses showed significant growth in teachers’ perceived technological expertise, interest, and ability to integrate geospatial technology into their science teaching. Application of the Technical Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to three case studies illustrates such growth. Crucial aspects of professional development in support of teaching science with geospatial technology include intensive training, ongoing support, a supportive learning community, and flexibility in terms of support provided and implementation expectations. Implications are presented for design of professional development and use of TPACK in evaluating impacts.


TPACK or TPCK In-service education Professional development Geospatial technology GIS Google Earth 



We appreciate the comments and suggestions offered by three anonymous reviewers and the editors of this journal. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under DUE Grant No 0602751. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF. For more information about GIT Ahead, see


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell Lab of OrnithologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Education DepartmentHobart and William Smith CollegesGenevaUSA

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