"Sustaining Elementary Science Teaching: A Longitudinal Comparison of Professional Development Outcomes across Four Programs"
AERA 2018 Annual Meeting: “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education”
April 13-17, 2018
Title: Sustaining Elementary Science Teaching: A Longitudinal Comparison of Professional Development Outcomes across Four Programs
Authors: Judith H. Sandholtz, Cathy Ringstaff, Laura Gluck
This longitudinal study examined the sustainability of outcomes for elementary teachers who participated in four professional development programs designed to improve science education. Specific research questions included: To what extent did professional development outcomes persist three years or more after the programs ended? What are the differences in sustained outcomes across the four programs? Teachers completed a teacher survey, self-efficacy assessment, and interviews at two time points: end-of-program and spring 2017. Results show that professional development outcomes (preparedness to teach science, instructional time in science, instructional strategies, and student activities) largely declined after the programs ended with few significant differences across programs. This study highlights the need for modest but ongoing supports for teachers to maintain instructional changes over time.