Santau, A.O., Secada, W., Maerten-Rivera, J., Cone, N. & Lee, O. (2010). US Urban elementary teachers’ knowledge and practices in teaching science to English language learners: Results from the first year of a professional development intervention. International Journal of Science Education, 32(15), 2007–2032.
Teachers of English language learners face the dual challenge of helping students to learn the academic content of science and to acquire English language proficiency. Elementary teachers, meanwhile, face the additional challenge of responding to new teaching requirements outlined within reform initiatives with an often limited understanding of science and its practices. The study reported in this paper sought to examine these issues (and also a comparison of teacher’s knowledge and practice between grade levels) as part of the analysis of a long-term professional development initiative for urban elementary schools. The professional development (PD) sought to enhance teacher knowledge of science content, teaching practices, inquiry processes, and teaching practices in science to support English language development.
Kind, V. (2009). Pedagogical content knowledge in science education: Perspectives and potential for progress. Studies in Science Education, 45(2), 169–204.
Debate surrounding the definition of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has limited its use in guiding teacher practice and teacher education. To help trainees acquire the unique skills of expert teachers in translating content for learners, this paper argues that an explicit focus on PCK (rather than an emphasis on subject matter knowledge) is needed.
You for Youth (2010). Right time, right place: Building an online learning community for afterschool practitioners. Afterschool Matters 10, 8–14.
You for Youth (www.Y4Y.ed.gov) is a learning community and website started in 2008 for the grantees of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), a U.S. Department of Education program that began in 1998 to support out-of-school time programs. The Y4Y project team describes how this project started as a response to the need for low-cost professional development in a wide range of skills, including conflict management, student engagement, and building relationships with the community. Inputs from practitioners, policymakers, evaluators, and other stakeholders were used in this project.
Maulucci, M. (2010). Resisting the marginalization of science in an urban school: Coactivating social, cultural, material and strategic resources. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(7), 840–860.
Education reform efforts often focus on material supplies and teacher knowledge of science, but this article points out additional constraints that teachers face within their schools and how the teachers from one middle school overcame them. These constraints have implications for what the researcher calls “inertial forces” that may derail social justice efforts. An awareness of these issues can help ISE educators in their efforts to design and lead professional development programs that support teachers.
Cobb, P., Zhao, Q., & Dean, C. (2009). Conducting design experiments to support teachers' learning: A reflection from the field. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(2), 165–199.
This article reports the results of a design research experiment in professional development for teachers of middle school mathematics. The authors report on how they developed their programs to account for three underlying conceptual challenges to their efforts: (1) the institutional contexts that teachers worked in, (2) the ways in which the learning developed in and through the community of practice, and (3) the relationship between teachers' learning in the program and teachers' teaching in their classrooms. Especially because of the different institutional cultures found in ISE versus school settings, this article could be highly informative for designing ISE-based professional development programs for teachers.
McGregor, D. (2012). Dramatising science learning: Findings from a pilot study to re-invigorate elementary science pedagogy for five- to seven-year olds. International Journal of Science Education, 34(8), 1145–1165.
Rather than enacting imaginative approaches, some teachers tend to engage in safe but unexciting transmission of science knowledge. This study examined a professional development programme wherein primary school teachers learned the skills and approaches of Dramatic Science. The findings indicate that the programme met its aim of helping teachers become more confident and creative in supporting children’s science learning.
Fleer, M. (2009). Supporting scientific conceptual consciousness of learning in a ‘roundabout way’ in play-based contexts. International Journal of Science Education, 31(8) 1069–1089.
Primary and early childhood teachers are generally regarded as lacking competence and confidence in teaching science. But rather than pointing the finger at teachers, this paper suggests that the prevailing philosophy of pedagogy may be to blame.
Lee, H.-S., Linn, M. C., Varma, K., & Liu, O. L. (2010). How do technology-enhanced inquiry science units impact classroom learning? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(1), 71-90.
Scientists regularly use interactive visualizations and models of abstract phenomena in their work. There is a growing body of evidence showing students could also benefit from interactive visualizations. This study compared the impact of inquiry-based science instruction incorporating interactive visualizations with that of traditional instruction on students’ knowledge integration across science courses.
Hall, G. & Gannett, E. (2010). Body and soul: Reflections on two professional development credential pilots in Massachusetts. Afterschool Matters, 10, 15-23.
The authors of this paper conducted an evaluation of two pilot credential programs both starting in Massachusetts in 2007, the School-Age Youth Development Credential (SAYD) and the Professional Youth Worker Credential (PYWC). Their reflections on the need for professional development for out-of-school time (OST) staff and youth workers show that the field of youth development at present is at crossroads. Based on the evaluation of these two pilot programs, the researchers advocate the establishment of a nationally recognized credential to professionalize the youth development field. The need to recognize the professional status of practitioners indicates that OST programs are valuable for stakeholders. Furthermore, if OST practitioners are to have credentials, how would this affect ISE practitioners running related programs in museums, science centers, and other educational institutions? This paper introduces ISE practitioners to the leading organizations in the OST field.
Larkin, D. (2012). Misconceptions about “misconceptions”: Preservice secondary science teachers’ views on the value and role of student ideas. Science Education, 96(5), 927–959.
This study examines preservice student teachers’ views of students’ prior knowledge and ideas. Findings suggest that these views change over time with classroom experience and that they may diverge from the beliefs teachers express in their education methods courses. ISE practitioners can draw useful parallels by examining how their own views and treatment of student ideas align with ISE pedagogy.