Exploring Ways to Enhance Science Learning for English Language Learners Through Improvement in Teacher Self-Efficacy Beliefs

This project will explore the influence of a professional learning community model on preparing preservice and novice science teachers to teach in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms of English language learners. The project will study the effect of a professional learning community model on teachers' self-efficacy beliefs and practices as it relates to teaching science to this population.

Award Number: 
1551974
Funding Period: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 to Thursday, August 31, 2017
Full Description: 

The Discovery Research K-12 program seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by preK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of innovative resources, models, and tools. This project will explore the influence of a professional learning community model on preparing preservice and novice science teachers to teach in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms of English language learners. The project will study the effect of a professional learning community model on teachers' self-efficacy beliefs and practices as it relates to teaching science to this population. The need to build teacher capacity is two-fold. First, the project will help the state of Georgia meet the needs of a growing population of English language learners. Second, the project will help preservice and novice teachers prepare more English language learners to obtain the STEM knowledge and skills needed to respond to the increasing demand for a stronger national STEM workforce as well as to fill more than 200,000 STEM-related jobs projected to be available in the state by 2018. To address these major needs, this project will provide opportunities that will empower elementary science teachers to collaborate and to continuously improve science teaching and learning for English language learners. The focus will be on improving instructional practices, strengthening content knowledge, and expanding literacy skills through lesson plan development and modification, lesson implementation, individual reflection using assessment data as evidence, peer debriefing, and collaborative generalization by connecting theory to practice.

A sequential mixed methods design will be used to capture data about the impact of the professional learning community on the self-efficacy beliefs of teachers participating in the project. The PI and graduate students will use Web-based surveys, semi-structured interviews, and classroom observations using a quantitated protocol to collect, analyze, and interpret data on the model being explored. An online statistical software program will be used to compute surveys at various checkpoints over the two-year period while interviews will be coded using computer assisted qualitative data analysis software based on constant comparative analysis. If the project achieve its goals, the outcomes will result in products that could lead to information that might inform change in teacher education programs, interventions for classroom practice, and topics for future research.

Posts

There is no content in this group.