Using Concept Maps to Capture Changes in Science Teachers’ Content Knowledge: Authentic Professional Development for Science Teachers

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Thirty-four science teachers participated in a two-week professional development experience that involved conducting research with a scientist. Nine university scientists designed experiments that were related to their research agendas and that could be done in collaboration with science teachers. The teachers worked along side the scientists for half a day during the two-week period. The teachers completed pre- and post-test concept maps about the topic of the research project. Example topics were sexual selection in Amphipods, pollution and water quality, and invasive weed species. Four researchers scored the concept maps along six dimensions. The scores captured characteristics of the structure of knowledge on the topic that ranged from a simple count of the number of concepts to more complex measures of the integration of concepts. The means were statistically higher at post-test for all six scores. Effect sizes were large for five of the scores, providing evidence for good practical significance. Implications are discussed for authentic professional development and for the use of concept maps in research and educational assessment.

Keywords: Teacher Professional Knowledge, Science Teaching and Learning, Concept Maps
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Barbara Greene

Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK, USA

I have been teaching courses at the University of Oklahoma on cognition and instruction and research methods for 19 years. During that time my research interests have jelled around the topics related to motivation and cognitive engagement. Measurement issues are always important to this research agenda and often become the topic of research. Recently I have focused on motivation and cognitive engagement as it relates to science learning and teaching.

Dr. Ian A. Lubin

Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Educational Psychology

Mr. Lubin is a graduate student finishing his doctoral degree in Educational Psychology. His current interests include social and cultural factors affecting educational opportunity and academic motivation

Janis Slater

K20 Center, University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Dr. Marguerite Keesee

University of Oklahoma
Norman, OKlahoma, USA

Dr. Susan Walden

University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK, USA

Ref: L09P1008