Meeting Teachers Where They Are and Helping Them Achieve Their Geospatial Goals
This chapter presents the flexibly adaptive model of teacher professional development, which was developed in the GIT Ahead project to enable secondary science teachers to incorporate a variety of geospatial applications into wide-ranging classroom contexts. Impacts on participating teachers were evaluated using project application materials, curricular resources developed and implemented by each teacher, written reflections, and questionnaires. Pre-post questionnaire responses showed significant growth in teachers’ perceived expertise, interest, and self-confidence with regard to integrating geospatial analyses into their science teaching. When viewed from the perspective of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework, teachers grew in Technological Content Knowledge and in the extent to which this knowledge intersected with their pedagogical and science content knowledge as they learned new ways to apply geospatial technology in their teaching. Key aspects of professional development for the support of teaching science with geospatial technology included intensive summer training, ongoing technological and curricular support throughout the school year, promotion of a supportive learning community, and flexibility in expectations regarding the nature and focus of classroom implementation. Research is needed to create validated instruments for measuring teacher self-efficacy for teaching with geospatial technology and for measuring associated student learning outcomes.
KeywordsTechnological pedagogical content knowledge Learning community Flexibility Self-confidence
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.
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