One Program Fits All? Patterns and Outcomes of Professional Development During a Large-Scale Reform in a High-Stakes Science Curriculum

Nicolas Hübner, Christian Fischer, Barry Fishman, Frances Lawrenz, Arthur Eisenkraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

When translating large-scale policy changes into educational practice, classroom-level implementation is crucial and dependent on teachers’ capabilities. Most research underscores the importance of professional development (PD) as a proximal factor to achieve educational change. Connected to the recent Advanced Placement (AP) science examination reform, this large-scale quantitative study (NTeachers = 9,096; NStudents = 197,589) investigates teacher participation in different PD formats (i.e., face-to-face, online, materials) and their associations with teacher- and student-level outcomes. We found that teacher characteristics (e.g., gender and administrative support) were associated with the choice of the PD format. We also found AP subscore differences between students of teachers who participated in different PD formats. Furthermore, teachers who participated in formal PD activities tended to report higher challenges with the AP reform. Thus, this study encourages PD providers to implement changes alongside a variety of PD programs to account for the potential differential benefits for teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAERA Open
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 8 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the following people for their contributions to this work: Amy Wheelock and Ted Gardella of the College Board; members of the research team Chris Dede, Kim Frumin, Abigail Jurist Levy, Brandon Foster, Yueming Jia, Janna Fuccillo Kook, Ayana McCoy; and the thousands of AP teachers who helped shape and participated in this project. We also thank Richard G?llner for his feedback on an early iteration of this article. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation through the Discovery Research PreK-12 program (DRK-12), Award 1221861. The views contained in this article are those of the authors, and not their institutions, the College Board, or the National Science Foundation.

Funding Information:
The authors thank the following people for their contributions to this work: Amy Wheelock and Ted Gardella of the College Board; members of the research team Chris Dede, Kim Frumin, Abigail Jurist Levy, Brandon Foster, Yueming Jia, Janna Fuccillo Kook, Ayana McCoy; and the thousands of AP teachers who helped shape and participated in this project. We also thank Richard Göllner for his feedback on an early iteration of this article. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation through the Discovery Research PreK-12 program (DRK-12), Award 1221861. The views contained in this article are those of the authors, and not their institutions, the College Board, or the National Science Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Keywords

  • advanced placement reform
  • professional development
  • science teacher education

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