Persistent, Enthusiastic, Relentless: Study of Induction Science Teachers (PERSIST)

Project: Research project

Description

In this Research and Development Project study, Luft and Thompson propose to examine the impact of induction programs on the science instruction of beginning secondary science teachers. This study is driven by the pending shortage of beginning science teachers, which has been a topic of discussion among school district administrators, teacher educators in higher education, and policy makers. As is well documented, one response to this shortage has been the creation of induction programs that have been developed to support and ultimately retain promising teachers. These programs range from school-based programs that serve all teachers, to programs created specifically for science teachers. In this project, the impact of different types of induction programs and the development of science teachers in their first five years of teaching are examined. Specifically, this study continues to follow a group of 120 beginning secondary science teachers who are in their fifth year of teaching in order to begin to understand science teacher development and retention. The data collected from the teachers includes: observations of classroom practices during each school year, interviews about their beliefs about teaching science, and assessments pertaining to their content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and pedagogical knowledge. The analysis of the data utilizes a mixed-methods approach, which consists of quantitative analyses to explore certain questions and qualitative analyses to capture the contextual aspects related to the quantitative analysis. The findings from this study have the potential to impact the effectiveness and retention of high quality content specialists, which includes, but is not limited to: the development of subject-specific induction programs, the restructuring of pre-serve programs for content specialists, and policies about institutions of higher education working more closely with their graduates.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/1/097/31/12

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $416,438.00

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