Preliminary Results on the Value of Investing in Training for Practicing Chilean Life Science Teachers



While Chile has been called an economic success story in the making, its educational system is challenged by inequalities, an under-prepared workforce, and inconsistency in teacher preparation. In 2016, a Chilean scientific research organization collaborated with philanthropy in the United States to offer curricular resources, professional development workshops, and leadership training to high-school life science teachers throughout Chile. Through a developmental evaluation lens, this study examines how an international collaboration provides professional development for practicing life science teachers. Our findings suggest this professional development contributed to teacher gains in content knowledge, their perceptions of professional growth, confidence, and students engagement upon implementing their newly acquired resources and practices.



We would like to acknowledge Dr. Gonzalo Peñaloza, who contributed to the study presented at ISEC 2018 from which we developed this current paper, Dr. Javier Robalino for conducting interviews, and Dr. Laura Bonetta for her editorial review.


  1. Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3–15. Scholar
  2. Cochran, K. F. (1997). Pedagogical content knowledge: Teachers’ integration of subject matter, pedagogy, students, and learning environments. Research Matters–to the Science teacher, 9702.Google Scholar
  3. Davis, E. A., & Krajcik, J. (2005). Designing educative curriculum materials to promote teacher learning. Educational Researcher, 34(3), 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Desimone, L. M. (2009). Improving impact studies of teachers’ professional development: Toward better conceptualizations and measures. Educational Researcher, 38(3), 181–199. Scholar
  5. Hanushek, E. A., & Woessmann, L. (2012). Schooling, educational achievement, and the Latin American growth puzzle. Journal of Development Economics, 99(2), 497–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hawley, W. D., & Valli, L. (1999). The essentials of effective professional development: A new consensus, in Teaching as the learning profession: Handbook of Policy and Practice (Vol. 127, pp. 150).Google Scholar
  7. Nehm, R. H., Beggrow, E. P., Opfer, J. E., & Ha, M. (2012). Reasoning about natural selection: diagnosing contextual competency using the ACORNS instrument. The American Biology Teacher, 74(2), 92–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. OECD. (2017a). “Executive summary”, in Education in Chile. Paris: OECD Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. OECD. (2017b). “Overview and the OECD Reviewing Process”, in Education in Chile. Paris: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
  10. Patton, M. Q. (2010). Developmental evaluation: Applying complexity concepts to enhance innovation and use. Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  11. Seidman, I. (2013). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  12. Stokes, A., King, H., & Libarkin, J. C. (2007). Research in science education: Threshold concepts. Journal of Geoscience Education, 55(5), 434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Van Driel, J. H., Verloop, N., & De Vos, W. (1998). Developing science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching: The Official Journal of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, 35(6), 673–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wilson, S. M., & Berne, J. (1999). Chapter 6: teacher learning and the acquisition of professional knowledge: an examination of research on contemporary professional development. Review of Research in Education, 24(1), 173–209.Google Scholar
  15. Wilson, S. M. (2013). Professional development for science teachers. Science, 340(6130), 310–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteChevy ChaseUSA
  2. 2.University of ChileSantiagoChile

Personalised recommendations