Using Scientists and Real-World Scenarios in Professional Development for Middle School Science Teachers

April 2007

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 18, Number 2 / April, 2007 pages 165-184

Middle school science teachers were involved in a problem-solving experience presented and guided by research scientists. Data on the teachers’ perspectives about this professional development and any impact it may have had on their teaching practices were collected through interviews, surveys, and classroom observations.

The findings show that the professional development experience was positive, although one concern expressed by teachers was their lack of understanding of the scientists’ vocabulary.
Using scientists and real-world scenarios was shown to be an effective strategy for encouraging middle school teachers to teach science as a process and help them strengthen their science content understanding.

Updated: Jan. 28, 2008