Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Paper presented at annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching: New Orleans, LA.


Copyright (c) 2007 E. Lewis, D. Baker, S. Yasar, & S. Uysal


This study summarizes semi-structured focus group exit interviews with Communication in Science Inquiry Project (CISIP) participants, experienced secondary and post-secondary science, English, and ELL faculty. CISIP is an NSF-funded initiative designed to meet the need for highly qualified teachers and science education reform. The main purpose of the larger study was to understand teachers’ application, in teams, of the CISIP model during the three-week summer institute. The focus group interviews helped to triangulate researchers’ observations with the participants’ perceptions. Participants expressed favorable attitudes toward their extended CISIP experience, at least one year’s participation before the summer institute. All acknowledged the value of a professional learning community. Science educators valued sharing ideas with other teachers and disciplinary area experts to incorporate academic and English language acquisition, oral and written discourse teaching strategies into their inquiry-based science lessons. By providing an adaptable curriculum model CISIP facilitators affected individual educators’ beliefs, assisted them in learning new pedagogical strategies, and helped them design CISIP-aligned curriculum. However, full implementation of the CISIP model has been a challenge, perhaps due to so few teachers having a school-based CISIP team member, systemic school-based frame factors, or insufficient practice with the CISIP model.