Scientist-teacher partnerships are a unique form of professional development that can assist teachers in translating current science into classroom instruction by involving them in meaningful collaborations with university researchers. However, few reported models aim to directly alter science teachers' practices by supporting them in the development of curriculum materials. This article reports on a multiple case study of seven high school science teachers who attended an ongoing scientist-teacher partnership professional development program at a major Southeastern research university. Our interest was to understand the capacity of this professional development program for supporting teachers in the transfer of personal learning experiences with advanced science content and skills into curriculum materials for high school students. Findings indicate that, regardless of their ultimate success constructing curriculum materials, all cases considered the research grounded professional development supports beneficial to their professional growth with the exception of collective participation. Additionally, the cases also described how supports such as professional recognition and transferability served as affordances to the process of constructing these materials. However, teachers identified multiple constraints, including personal learning barriers, their classroom context, and the cost associated with implementing some of their curriculum ideas. Results have direct implications for future research and the purposeful design of professional development experiences through scientist-teacher partnerships.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments Funding for the ICORE program was provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through Precollege Science Education Award #51006103. Thank you to Houda Darwiche and Drew Joseph for their help with scoring curriculum units.
- Case study
- Professional development
- Scientist-teacher partnerships