Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 971–992 | Cite as

Using Action Research to Engage K-6 Teachers in Nature of Science Inquiry as Professional Development

  • Theresa A. Cullen
  • Valarie L. Akerson
  • Deborah L. Hanson


Teachers are required to work with data on a daily basis to assess the effectiveness of their teaching strategies, but may not approach it as research. This paper presents a reflective discussion of how and when a professional development team used an action research project to help 12 K-6 teachers explore the effectiveness of reform based Nature of Science (NOS) teaching strategies in their classrooms. The team encouraged community development and provided “just in time” supports to scaffold the steps of the action research process for teachers. The discussion includes concerns they addressed and issues related to management and support of the professional development model. Evaluation results are shared to suggest how this approach can be improved in the future.


Nature of science Action research Professional development K-6 Inservice teachers 



The research in this paper was supported by Indiana’s Improving Teacher Quality grant program and Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy.


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresa A. Cullen
    • 1
  • Valarie L. Akerson
    • 2
  • Deborah L. Hanson
    • 3
  1. 1.Jeannine Rainbolt College of EducationUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and InstructionIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Hanover CollegeHanoverUSA

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