Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



2008. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences 31: 77-103; Copyright © 2008 Koba and Mitchell


This research evaluated impact of the Omaha Public Schools' Urban Systemic Program professional development model on mathematics and science teacher change and student achievement. The model offered various participation pathways, focused teachers' learning in three areas (beliefs, content, and pedagogy) and required teacher reflection during classroom strategy implementation. To determine teacher change, observations, interviews, action research, pre-post perception profiles, retrospective pre-post surveys (beliefs and understandings), and exit surveys were completed. Participants' action research determined impact . on students' understandings. Criterion Referenced· Tests, as well as leadership pre- and post- surveys, action research and interviews determined school change. To evaluate program impact, participant and nonparticipant AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) data were compared. Pathway comparisons used mean AYP Science Scores and Average Standards Mastered. Data indicate that changing beliefs and critical reflection were essential to change. Participants showed mean increases in scores, though none were significantly larger than non-participants and impact varied by path. However, with the commitment of leadership and 70% of teachers, schools significantly impacted achievement. Research implications include I} the importance of the school as the unit of change to impact achievement and 2} the necessity of reflection and work-embedded professional development to impact teacher change and student achievement.

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