Scientific literacy for our students and the possibilities for careers available in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas are important topics for economic growth as well as global competitiveness. The achievement of students in science learning is dependent upon the science teachers' effectiveness and experienced science teachers depend upon relevant professional development experiences to support their learning. In order to understand how to improve student learning in science, the learning of science teachers must also be understood. Previous research studies on teacher professional development have been conducted in other states, but Minnesota science teachers comprised a new and different population from those previously studied. The purpose of this two-phase mixed methods study was to identify the current types of professional development in which experienced, Minnesota secondary science teachers participated and the factors that affect their participation in professional development activities. The mixed-methods approach s utilized an initial online survey followed by qualitative interviews with five survey respondents. The results of the quantitative survey and the qualitative interviews indicated the quality of professional development experiences and the factors which affected the science teachers' participation in professional development activities. The supporting and inhibiting factors involved the availability of resources such as time and money, external relationships with school administrators, teacher colleagues, and family members, and personal intrinsic attributes such as desires to learn and help students. This study also describes implications for science teachers, school administrators, policymakers, and professional development providers. Recommendations for future research include the following areas: relationships between and among intrinsic and extrinsic factors, science-related professional development activities within local school districts, the use of formal and informal professional development, and the needs of rural science teachers compared to urban and suburban teachers.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. May 2013. Major: Teaching and Learning. Advisor: Bruce H. Munson, Ph.D., 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 168 pages, appendices A-B.
Roux, Judi Ann.
The factors that affect science teachers' participation in professional development.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.