The Impact of Professional Development on Elementary Teachers’ Strategies for Teaching Science with Diverse Student Groups in Urban Elementary Schools

Abstract

This study examined elementary teachers’ instructional strategies for promoting scientific understanding and inquiry and supporting English language development with diverse student groups including English language learners. The study was part of a 5-year research and development project consisting of reform-based science curriculum units and teacher workshops aimed at providing effective science instruction to promote students’ science and literacy achievement in urban elementary schools. Data consisted of 213 post-observation interviews with third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers. The teachers reported using instructional strategies to promote scientific understanding, but generally did not employ more sophisticated inquiry-based strategies. They also reported using instructional strategies to support English language development. There were significant differences among grade levels and by years of teacher participation.

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Correspondence to Karen Adamson.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Post-Observation Interview

Appendix 2: Analysis of Post-Observation Interviews

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Adamson, K., Santau, A. & Lee, O. The Impact of Professional Development on Elementary Teachers’ Strategies for Teaching Science with Diverse Student Groups in Urban Elementary Schools. J Sci Teacher Educ 24, 553–571 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-012-9306-z

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Keywords

  • Diverse Student Groups
  • Professional Development Intervention
  • English Language Development
  • English Language Learners (ELLs)
  • Post-observation Interview