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Paper: A Graduate-Level Professional Development Program in Science for In-Service Middle and High School Teachers
Volume: 389, EPO and a Changing World: Creating Linkages and Expanding Partnerships
Page: 343
Authors: Beck-Winchatz, B.; Narasimhan, L.; Jabon, D.
Abstract: Recent research on learning and cognition has produced new insights into designing effective professional development programs for mathematics and science teachers. This research suggests that “teacher learning programs must become more collegial and in-depth, longer in duration, and tailored to the experience levels of the learners, be they novice or expert teachers” (Stiles & Mundrey 2002). Guided by this research, DePaul University in Chicago has developed an interdisciplinary Masters of Science in Science Education (MSSE) degree program for urban middle school and high school teachers. The program has a strong contemporary earth and space science component, including a course in astrobiology. The MSSE program is designed to strengthen the teachers’ science content knowledge and skills, improve their classroom practice, and ultimately enhance their students’ learning in science. We will share a variety of strategies we have employed in the design, development, and implementation of the program. We will also discuss what we have learned about the professional development needs of Chicago teachers as well as the research tools we have used to assess the effectiveness of our program. An overarching principle of the program is the integration of science content knowledge with classroom practice and with research on how students learn.
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