Coping with Constraints: A Longitudinal Study of K–2 Science Instruction After Professional Development
Authors: Judith H. Sandholtz, Cathy Ringstaff, Bryan Matlen
Presented at 2017 AERA
Abstract: In contrast to recommendations, science is not a central component of daily instruction in the early elementary grades (Banilower et al., 2013). This study investigated longitudinal changes in K-2 science instruction after teacher participation in a 3-year professional development (PD) program and the factors that influenced teachers’ decisions about instructional time and strategies. The study, part of a larger NSF-funded project, used a case-study approach to obtain an in-depth understanding of why instructional shifts occurred over seven years. The primary research questions were: To what extent did K-2 teachers continue to teach science and use inquiry-based instructional strategies after the PD ended? What factors influenced science instruction for these teachers?