Using Action Research to Engage K-6 Teachers in Nature of Science Inquiry as Professional Development
- 363 Downloads
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.
KeywordsNature 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.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy: A project 2061 report. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Aronson, E., & Patnoe, S. (1997). The jigsaw classroom: Building cooperation in the classroom (2nd ed.). New York: Addison Wesley Longman.Google Scholar
- Banilower, E. R., Heck, D. J., & Weiss, I. R. (2007). Can professional development make the vision of the standards a reality? The impact of the National Science Foundation’s local systemic change through teacher enhancement initiative. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44, 375–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (1998). Qualitative research for education (3rd ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
- Feldman, A., & Minstrell, J. (2000). Action research as a research methodology for the study of teaching and learning of science. In A. E. Kelly & R. A. Lesh (Eds.), Handbook of research in design in mathematics and science education (pp. 429–456). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Hopkins, D. (1993). A teachers’ guide to classroom research. Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Hubbard, R., & Power, B. (1993). The art of classroom inquiry: A handbook for teacher researchers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
- Kielborn, T. L., & Gilmer, P. J. (Eds.). (1999). Meaningful science: Teachers doing inquiry + teaching science. Tallahassee, FL: SERVE.Google Scholar
- Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1994). Evaluating training programs. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
- Lederman, J. S., & Khishfe, R. (2002). Views of nature of science form E. Unpublished paper, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
- Mata-Segreda, A. (2006). Action research for the change in education. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 72, 18–22.Google Scholar
- Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Muşlu, G., & Macaroğlu Akgül, E. (2005). Elementary school students’ perceptions of science and scientific processes: A qualitative study. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 6, 225–229.Google Scholar
- National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academic Press.Google Scholar
- National Science Teachers Association. (2000). NSTA position statement: The nature of science. Document retrieved March 18, 2003, from http://www.nsta.org/159&psid=22.
- Rutherford, J., & Algren, A. (1989). Science for all Americans. Washington, DC: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Seed, A. (2008). Redirecting the teaching profession in the wake of a nation at risk and NCLB. Phi Delta Kappan, 89, 586–589.Google Scholar
- Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57, 1–22.Google Scholar