The Effects of the Design and Development of a Chemistry Curriculum Reform on Teachers’ Professional Growth: A Case Study

From Section:
Professional Development
Aug. 15, 2010

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 21, No. 5, p. 535-557.  (August 2010)(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

A curriculum innovation requires new learning material for students and a preparation program for teachers, in which teacher learning is a key ingredient.

In this article, the authors describe professional growth of three Dutch teachers during the development and subsequent class enactment of student learning material for a context-based chemistry curriculum..

The following specific research questions were addressed:
(1) What are the teacher-developers’ perceived goals of context-concept based chemistry education (a) before the development process (b) after the writing phase of the module, and (c) after class enactment of the module?
(2) What did teacher-developers learn (a) during the writing phase (b) during the class enactment phase?


This network consisted of three experienced chemistry teachers, all having a masters’ degree plus teaching qualification in chemistry, and more than 5 years of teaching experience.

A male coach employed by the teacher training department from a university was chair of the network. The coach, an experienced author of chemistry textbooks, contributed to the discussions by bringing in new ideas, alternative teaching approaches, literature, and he advised during the writing up phase.

For data collection a questionnaire, three interviews and discussion transcripts were used.


The results show that: (a) teachers, cooperating in a network under supervision of an expert, can develop innovative learning material;
(b) the development of learning material can be seen as a training program to prepare teachers for an innovation; and
(c) teachers’ knowledge increased in all five pedagogical content knowledge domains during the development and class enactment phases.

Updated: Oct. 28, 2019
Case studies | Chemistry | Curriculum design | Curriculum development | Educational change | Professional development