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Teacher Professional Development Programs in Grades 3-8: Promoting Teachers' and Students' Content Knowledge in Science and Engineering

Abstract

This presentation will examine the components and research findings from the USED NJ MSP project's PD program, which promoted teachers' content knowledge and teaching practices as well as students' content knowledge and 21st century skills in the context of science and engineering. In 2009-2010, 46 elementary teachers attended a two-week summer institute, three school-year PD days, and received monthly classroom visits. Results indicated that teachers and students significantly increased their content knowledge in science and engineering compared to the comparison group; teacher post-test scores were a significant predictor of student science learning as were the number of program lessons taught and the number of engineering lessons taught. These research findings led to the development of the NSF MSP PD program.

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