Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 121–137 | Cite as

Professional Development and Teacher Change: The Missing Leadership Link

  • Brooke A. WhitworthEmail author
  • Jennifer L. Chiu


Professional development in science education aims to support teacher learning with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement. A multitude of factors influence teacher change and the effectiveness of professional development. This review of the literature explores these factors and identifies school and district science leaders as a critical factor missing from current professional development models. School and district leaders play a significant role in the planning and implementation of professional development, as well as providing ongoing leadership to support teacher change. Considering this role, school district leaders are not just a contextual factor, but rather an integral part of the process and should be integrated into and considered part of any professional development model in science education.


Professional development Teacher change Leadership District leaders 


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Science Teaching and LearningNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  2. 2.Curry School of EducationUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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