Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Lewis, E., L. Lucas, A. Tankersley, E. Hasseler, and B. Helding. (2019). Meeting the Vision of the NGSS: Critical Factors of Effective Science Teaching. Poster presented at the NSF Robert Noyce Program Annual Conference: July 10-12, 2019: Washington, DC, United States.


With new national science education standards, we must understand how to prepare science teachers capable of advancing reform initiatives. In a 3-year longitudinal study we adopted a multi-method approach to investigate beginning science teachers’ instructional practices. We analyzed transcripts, observed science lessons, and documented weeks of lessons. Using this large dataset we posed research questions about the use of NGSS scientific practices in teachers’ science lessons (Project #1) and classroom diversity as it relates to teachers’ use of inquiry (Project #2). In order to expand our coding capability of science teaching data for use in our structural equation modelling efforts (Project #4) we also completed an initial validation of the DiISC instrument (Project #3). Findings included: (a) differential use of scientific practices by physical and life science teachers in their lessons; (b) beginning teachers used lower levels of inquiry, as well as teachers with only a minor in a science, and classrooms that had more female students, however there was no significant difference in the amount of inquiry used in low versus high diversity; (c) there is a strong body of evidence for the validity of the DiISC across standard aspects of a modern validity argument; and (d) a SEM showed that master’s level teachers exhibited greater initial use of inquiry-based instruction and growth over time than undergraduate certified teachers when combined with professional development over time.