Orientations to Science Teacher Professional Development: An Exploratory Study

Apr. 20, 2010

Source: Science Teacher Education, Volume 21, Number 3, 309-328.
(April, 2010)

Just as individual teachers have orientations to teaching and learning science that influence their practice, the authors assert that professional development (PD) projects also have an orientation that guides the design and implementation of the entire project; a construct that the authors term “PD Project Orientation”.

The aim of this study was to validate the existence of this new construct.

Using various data sources from nine PD projects, the authors generated and characterized five PD project orientations.

The authors illustrate the characteristics of each orientation with descriptions from specific projects. The authors also show the frequency of the orientations and how these orientations were emphasized within each PD project.

This study has implications for those designing and implementing PD for science teachers, as well as PD evaluators.

Updated: Sep. 19, 2010