Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



NARST 2009 Annual Conference, Garden Grove, California


Copyright (c) 2009 the authors.


One-hundred-and-sixty classroom observations of secondary science and language arts teachers were made throughout the 2007-2008 academic year to determine the extent of their use of professional development, specifically using strategies to construct a scientific classroom discourse community (SCDC). Each observation was scored using a 36-item instrument of various SCDC instructional strategies designed to match the professional development. These observation scores and teacher demographic information were used to build a hierarchical linear model to explore for statistically significant relationships over time. The length of time that the teachers received professional development was chosen as the exclusive predictor of teacher change because the overall model fit associated with this variable was better, co-varied less across levels, and ultimately because it was most conceptually significant. Thus, sustained professional development over time, greater than one year, appears to be more effective, and necessary, for greater fidelity of implementation of SCDC teaching strategies. The results of the modeling also suggest that the professional development appears to work well for a variety of participants and is adaptable and equitable.