Professional development practices and needs of Connecticut public high school science teachers: A multi-site case study

Date of Completion

January 2002


Education, Administration|Education, Teacher Training




Science education is in the midst of a national reform movement that centers on the national grade level science standards as delineated in the National Science Education Standards. The National Science Education Standards (NSES) also established standards for science teaching and professional development. Much of the reform movement has focused on promoting radically different instructional practices. Connecticut has responded by implementing the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) Science assessment in alignment with national standards as a tool for reform. A growing body of literature, however, suggests that pedagogical strategies proposed by the reform movement are not being fully implemented in the classroom. In order to more effectively implement these reforms, professional development practices must undergo substantive changes. The problem presented in this study is to identify professional development activities being used that promote the reform goals for science teaching and professional development as set forth in the NSES and implied in the CAPT Science test. A multi-site case study used in-depth interviews, observations and a document review that identified and described professional development practices that promote the implementation of reform-based teaching Susan Ann Battersby-University of Connecticut, 2002 strategies. Findings also highlight the professional development needs of Connecticut science teachers so that an effective professional development system can be designed and implemented. ^