Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


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From: Professional Development: Recent Advances and Future Directions, ed. Tanya Norton. (Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2016) , pp. 1-57.


Copyright © 2016 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Used by permission.


The Communication in Science Inquiry Project (CISIP) a National Science Foundation-funded, standards-based model of a scientific classroom discourse community (SCDC) was designed to meet the need for highly-qualified teachers and science education reform. The model included: (a) inquiry; (b) oral discourse; (c) written discourse; (d) academic language development, and (e) learning principles. Research and evaluation feedback were mechanisms by which CISIP become self-regulating, promoting instructional change and incorporating more aspects of inquiry-based learning with academic language development strategies. The program underwent a philosophical shift from teachers-as-consumers to teachers-as-producers based on classroom observations using a professional development-aligned classroom observation instrument that showed teachers were not implementing the CISIP model. Research indicated that CISIP was effective in changing how teachers taught science by providing sustained, long-term professional development. Teachers who participated for greater than one year showed the most change in their teaching practices, becoming more aligned with science education standards documents. Current and future directions in science teacher professional development (PD) include: (a) studying how teacher PD affects student learning; (b) building validity arguments for research instruments to be used for generalizing findings from multiple PD contexts, and (c) the need for improving PD providers’ understanding of how to conduct effective PD and engage in research that contributes to our understanding of 21st century science education reform.