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J Sci Teacher Educ

DOI 10.1007/s10972-013-9371-y

Translating Current Science into Materials for High


School via a Scientist–Teacher Partnership

Julie C. Brown • Julie R. Bokor • Kent J. Crippen •

Mary Jo Koroly

 The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2013

Abstract Scientist-teacher partnerships are a unique form of professional devel-


opment that can assist teachers in translating current science into classroom instruction
by involving them in meaningful collaborations with university researchers. However,
few reported models aim to directly alter science teachers’ practices by supporting
them in the development of curriculum materials. This article reports on a multiple
case study of seven high school science teachers who attended an ongoing scientist–
teacher partnership professional development program at a major Southeastern
research university. Our interest was to understand the capacity of this professional
development program for supporting teachers in the transfer of personal learning
experiences with advanced science content and skills into curriculum materials for
high school students. Findings indicate that, regardless of their ultimate success
constructing curriculum materials, all cases considered the research grounded pro-
fessional development supports beneficial to their professional growth with the
exception of collective participation. Additionally, the cases also described how
supports such as professional recognition and transferability served as affordances to

J. C. Brown  K. J. Crippen (&)


School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, 2423 Norman Hall, P.O. Box 117048,
Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
e-mail: kcrippen@coe.ufl.edu
J. C. Brown
e-mail: brownjc@ufl.edu

J. R. Bokor
School of Teaching and Learning, Center for Precollegiate Education and Training, University
of Florida, 334 Yon Hall, PO Box 112010, Gainesville, FL 32611-2010, USA
e-mail: jbokor@ufl.edu

M. J. Koroly
College of Medicine and Center for Precollegiate Education and Training, University of Florida,
331 Yon Hall, P.O. Box 112010, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
e-mail: korolymj@ufl.edu

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J. C. Brown et al.

the process of constructing these materials. However, teachers identified multiple


constraints, including personal learning barriers, their classroom context, and the cost
associated with implementing some of their curriculum ideas. Results have direct
implications for future research and the purposeful design of professional develop-
ment experiences through scientist-teacher partnerships.

Keywords Scientist-teacher partnerships  Professional development 


Case study

Introduction

Engaging students with current science, both emerging and new knowledge as well
as authentic practices, has become a cornerstone of the National Research Council’s
(2012) recent report, A Framework for K-12 Science Education. To achieve the goal
of a K-12 science curriculum based in emerging and new knowledge implies certain
priorities, policies, and a structured mechanism. As for priorities, disseminating the
findings from current research is of such importance to the scientific enterprise that
the National Science Foundation (NSF) includes the potential for broader impacts as
one of its two merit review criteria. NSF evaluates the merit of all proposed projects
based on their ability to broadly impact ‘‘socially relevant outcomes’’, such as
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and scientific literacy
(2012, p. II-9). The fulfillment of the broader impacts requirement for the thousands
of projects funded annually at NSF serves as a primary mechanism for translating
current science into the US curriculum under the category of K-12 outreach.
One way to achieve the aims of NSF’s broader impacts via K-12 outreach is through
professional development (PD) for teachers that includes the modification and
production of curriculum materials. This unique form of PD, termed scientist-teacher
partnerships (STP) can support teachers in learning current science while translating this
knowledge to classroom instruction (NRC, 1996). Tanner, Chatman and Allen (2003)
broadly define scientist-teacher partnerships as ‘‘collaboration among a group of college
or university scientists and K–12 teachers, with the goal of improving science education
along the kindergarten through postgraduate educational continuum…’’ (p. 195). Such
partnerships provide experiences for teachers to engage in inquiry (Jeanpierre,
Oberhauser & Freeman, 2005), design and implement various prototypes (Harris
Willcuts, 2009), and construct curriculum materials tightly aligned with recommenda-
tions described in the Framework. However, though the priorities and policies exist, little
is known about the enterprise of STP as a vehicle for achieving these goals.
This study addresses the paucity of research on STP as a mechanism for translating
current science into curriculum materials for high school. Such an investigation is
necessary for supporting the enactment of contemporary views of science education,
as successful implementation requires direct alignment of PD and curriculum with the
Framework. By building our understanding of the process we improve the capacity to
articulate a robust theoretical framework and logic model for producing the desired
outcomes. Our investigation focuses on the outcome of teachers’ construction and
adaptation of materials because it represents a capacity for change that has the

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potential to sustain the positive impacts of PD. Therefore, this study examines the
perspective of teachers in a STP for the purpose of understanding how participation
can serve as a vehicle for translating current science.

Review of Related Literature

PD experiences that are ongoing and job-embedded have been shown to improve science
teachers’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions (Crippen, 2012; Lee, 2004; Loucks-
Horsley, Stiles, Mundry, Love & Hewson, 2010; Luft, 2001; Zozakiewicz & Rodriguez,
2007) and empower teachers as creators of reform-based instructional materials
(Jackson & Ash, 2012; Parke & Coble, 1997; Stolk, De Jong, Bulte, & Pilot, 2011).
However, PD often focuses on supporting the implementation of premade curricula
(Bell & Gilbert, 1994; Davis & Varma, 2008; Loucks-Horsley et al., 2010). Though such
initiatives have positively impacted teachers’ practices, they also reduce teacher
ownership (Ball & Cohen, 1996; Parke & Coble, 1997) and negate the influence of
classroom context (Squire, MaKinster, Barnett, Luehmann, & Barab, 2003) and cultural
diversity (Zozakiewicz & Rodriguez, 2007) on teaching and learning.
In contrast, few reported models aim to directly alter teachers’ practices by supporting
them through the development of instructional materials (e.g., Jackson & Ash, 2012;
Parke & Coble, 1997; Stolk et al., 2011). Such opportunities build capacity for
sustainable change by empowering science teachers with the tools and support necessary
to create their own instructional materials. Furthermore, the direct translation of current
science is necessary in order to accurately represent the nature of the scientific enterprise.
The challenge, then, involves designing PD with specific supports that enhance teachers’
abilities to construct materials featuring current science.
Involving science teachers in the process of translating current science requires
the execution of high quality PD supports, as teachers are likely to experience
difficulties when designing innovative materials for their classroom (Powell &
Anderson, 2002; Stolk et al., 2011). To assist science teachers in this endeavor,
ventures have employed multiple research-grounded supports, including (a) struc-
tured planning time (Davis & Varma, 2008; Jackson & Ash, 2012), (b) opportunities
for teachers to build content knowledge (Lee, 2004; Loucks-Horsley et al., 2010),
(c) modeling instructional strategies (Putnam & Borko, 2000; Stolk et al., 2011),
(d) enhanced communication among university and school faculty (Bell & Gilbert,
1994; Zozakiewicz & Rodriguez, 2007), (e) active learning opportunities (Luft,
2001; Trautmann & MaKinster, 2005), (f) collective participation (Garet, Porter,
Desimone, Birman & Yoon, 2001; Putnam & Borko, 2000), and (g) ongoing support
(Crippen et al., 2010; Lee, 2004). However, the supports within any project depend
heavily on program goals and can vary widely. The Interdisciplinary Center for
Ongoing Research/Education (ICORE) program, the STP at the focus of this study,
closely aligns with the goals of traditional STPs, extends traditional university-
teacher partnerships and provides the hallmark features of high-quality PD.
A particular strength of a STP lies in the rich opportunities for teachers to build
content knowledge and skills (Crippen, 2012; Loucks-Horsley et al., 2010), by
providing teachers with access to current science topics. Existing STPs have bolstered

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teachers’ knowledge of forest restoration and ecological management (Falloon &


Trewern, 2013), green energy and fuel cell technology (Harris Willcuts, 2009), and
monarch butterfly ecology (Jeanpierre et al., 2005). While some STP initiatives have
helped teachers adapt curriculum materials when their content knowledge and
confidence were low (Lee, 2004), they have also impeded curriculum implementation
when coupled with ineffective PD strategies (Falloon & Trewern, 2013).
In order to understand how participation in a STP can serve as a vehicle for
translating current science, we utilize situated learning theory as our theoretical
framework. Situated learning theory allowed us to examine the relationship between
the structures of the designed learning environment of ICORE and the products and
perspectives of the participants in order to determine how these structures afforded
or constrained successful translation of current science.

Theoretical Framework

Situated learning theory emanates from Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural theory and
examines the ways in which a given environment (including experiences, social
interactions, authentic activity, and mediating devices) provides opportunities for
meaningful learning (Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989; Gee, 2008). This theoretical
perspective recognizes that learning occurs as an individual becomes enculturated into a
community of practice (Cobb & Bowers, 1999; Gee, 2008; Gresalfi, 2009; Vygotsky,
1978). Brown et al. (1989) describe enculturation as a process through which learners
‘‘adopt the behavior and belief systems of new social groups’’ (p. 34), and is mediated by
social interaction and authentic activity. Authentic activities are those normally practiced
within a culture. For example, scientists employ practices such as using models, analyzing
data, constructing arguments from evidence, and communicating scientific information to
study the natural world. Authentic activities exist in specific contexts, each with their own
language and processes of enculturation (Brown et al., 1989; Gee, 2008; Gresalfi, 2009;
Vygotsky, 1978). Thus, learning is strongly mediated by the settings in which these
activities occur. Depending on the context and available resources, an individual’s
experiences afford different opportunities to learn (Gee, 2008; Gresalfi, 2009).
We used Gibson’s (1979) definition of affordances, ‘‘affordances of the environ-
ment are what it offers the animal, what it provides or furnishes, either for good or ill’’
(p. 127, italics in original). From this definition we acknowledge that affordances are
components of the STP that provide teachers with opportunity for translating current
science. In other words, participants perceive a particular contextual aspect of the STP
as a tool and subsequently envision some capacity to engage with it. For example,
modeling new pedagogical approaches during PD may afford a science teacher the
opportunity to integrate such methods into her/his curriculum.

Context

This study is situated within years three and four of the ICORE STP program for
high school science teachers from throughout a Southeastern state. Up to 30

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secondary science teachers were invited to the ICORE summer institute through a
competitive application process during each year of the program. The program
advertisement and application material each indicated that curriculum translation
was an expectation of participation. Successful applicants identified their primary
teaching assignment as life science, submitted a strong personal statement, and
attended previous science professional development programs. Less attention was
paid to geographic distribution or demographics of the applicant or their school. The
program was organized around the interdisciplinary theme of emerging pathogens,
which offers many examples of basic and applied science concepts. Annually, the
program began with a 2-week residential summer institute that involved skills and
activities integrated into experiments illustrating the molecular basis of host-
pathogen interactions, as well as the human and environmental influence on
emerging and re-emerging diseases. Each summer approximately 15 University
researchers interacted with the ICORE participants in various ways including brief
lectures, laboratory visits, and experiments. University scientists enhanced teachers’
content knowledge by presenting their current research findings while also
addressing common misconceptions through laboratory activities. Several partic-
ipating faculty frequently engaged in University extension activities and were well
suited to work with program staff to modify research laboratory protocols to
classroom-friendly modules. Teacher-participants engaged in inquiry in the context
of an authentic laboratory sequence led by university research faculty, graduate
students, and program staff, utilizing pedagogical strategies suitable for high school
science classrooms (Table 1). After each laboratory activity, teachers brainstormed
with university scientists and program staff about ways to incorporate the scientific
content and methodologies into classroom applications.
At the conclusion of the summer institute, teachers presented their proposed
curriculum materials to their colleagues, articulating how they intended to incorporate
the current science in the upcoming school year. After revising the proposal based upon
feedback from peers, university partners and scientists, participants received funds and
access to classroom support in the form of biotechnology equipment lockers and
materials, and a visiting scientist or program staff to facilitate implementation of their
curricula in their school. In the spring, teachers returned to the university to present
results from implementation of their projects to their peers and program staff in a
symposium. Curriculum materials were made available via the project Web site.
Graduate credits were awarded for successful completion of all program components,
including implementation of the curriculum and submission of a written final report
detailing student outcomes. The formal assessment of the quality of the materials was
only completed for the purpose of this study, not for evaluating the work of participants.

Methodology

The methodology for this study took the form of an ex-post facto, multiple case
study design (Creswell, 2009). Our interest was to understand the capacity of a
unique STP for supporting teachers in the transfer of personal learning experiences
with current science into curriculum materials for high school students. The

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Table 1 Summer institute components for day one, 2011 (see Table 3 for identities of PD codes)
Element Title Format Materials Ideas presented PD support

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Presentation Introduction to Plant Pathogen Lab: Whole group Slideshow Orientation to the plant pathogen TSWV PD3, PD4
Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) and the laboratory experiment
Experiment TSWV Lab 1: Detecting with Lab groups Equipment and reagents Participants first try to identify signs of PD1, PD3
Immunostrip Assay Manual TSWV infection through observation
then perform an immunoassay to verify
results
Discussion TSWV Lab 1: Post-lab Lab groups Experiment data Groups shared findings and discussed PD1, PD2, PD5
Whole group results. Participants concluded
observations alone are not enough to
diagnose TSWV
Activity Designer plates Lab groups Equipment and reagents Participants learn to use micropipettes PD1, PD3, PD5
Pipetting by Design Lesson
Designer plates Equipment
locker
Experiment TSWV Lab 2: DNA Extraction Lab groups Lab equipment and reagents DNA is extracted from two peanut seeds— PD1, PD3
Pipetting locker wild type and genetically altered.
Experiment TSWV Lab 3: PCR Lab groups Lab equipment and reagents Using DNA extracted in the previous step, PD1, PD3
Pipetting locker participants set-up PCR reactions to
amplify a region of the virus N capsid
Thermal cycler locker that the genetically altered seed contains
Activity TSWV Jigsaw Small groups TSWV activity Jigsaw lesson format. Participants are PD1, PD2, PD3,
Whole group assigned a career. Break up into careers PD5
groups, share research findings for their
specialty. Return to home group, share
findings. Select a stakeholder (peanut
growers, master gardeners, etc.) and
develop a poster to communicate what
TSWV is and how to prevent or
minimize its impact
J. C. Brown et al.
Translating Current Science

outcome of this work was intended to serve two purposes: (a) to further our
understanding of STP as a unique and appropriate form of PD for high school
science teachers and (b) to provide insight for future evidence-based re-design of the
program being investigated. The following research questions guided our study:
1. As they construct and adapt materials based upon current science, which
supports in the STP model do teachers find most beneficial?
2. How do the explicit supports in the STP afford or constrain teachers in the
construction and adaptation of curriculum materials?
Two primary criteria were used to select the cases with pseudo-names used to
protect the identities of participants: the quality of the curriculum materials and the
professional experience of the participant. Professional experience was established
via self-report. The quality of the curriculum materials was assessed using the
Science Lesson Plan Analysis Instrument (SLPAI), a multidimensional tool for
assessing science lesson planning (Jacobs, Martin & Otieno, 2008). The instrument
consists of 21-criteria for four major subscales that are rated as exemplary (2pts.),
making progress (1pt.) or needs improvement (0pts.). The weighted score for each
criterion is computed by multiplying the raw scores by an item weight coefficient
that ranges from one to three. The total score for the SLPAI is the total of the
weighted criteria scores. For this study, we used the same criteria weighting and
normalization procedure that was used by Jacobs et al. (2008) in the original
validation of the instrument. The curriculum materials of fifty-two participants from
the 2010 and 2011 cohorts were scored using the SLPAI. Participants were not made
aware of their SLPAI score. A procedure involving scoring the materials
independently, then meeting to compare and discuss each score to consensus, was
used to determine each participant’s individual score. Inter-rater reliability for the
independent scoring was 83 %. Normalized scores ranged from 18 to 100 and the
distribution was positively skewed (N = 52, M = 70.9, SD = 16.8), suggesting
that a majority of participants were successful with the task of creating instructional
materials. The distribution of scores was divided into three groups based upon the
degree of success with the task: highly successful (67–100), successful (39–66) and
minimally successful (0–38). Using demographic information, we classified teachers
as either beginner (1–5 years teaching), experienced (6–15 years) or veteran
(greater than 15 years). Maximal variation sampling based upon three levels of two
variables offers the potential for nine cases (Table 2).
However, four of the potential cases were not represented in our data set (i.e.,
highly successful beginners and minimally successful veterans) while numerous
cases met the criteria for two of the case types (i.e., successful beginners and highly
successful veterans). A review of demographic information reveled that although
they occupy the same cell in the matrix, the educational background and
professional training for these cases was different. Thus, the research team added
a secondary criteria defined as having advanced education (e.g., earned a PhD) or
professional training (e.g., national board certification). With these criteria, seven
high school science teachers were selected as unique cases for this multiple case
study.

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Table 2 A comparison of the case participants along the two dimensions of the selection criteria by
SLPAI score, years of experience and formal professional training
Professional Quality of materials
experience
Minimally successful Successful Highly successful

Beginner Becky Cristina None


SLPAI-31; 1–year; SLPAI-63; 3-years;
Bachelors and Bachelors, masters, and
Masters Degrees PhD degrees
Kelly
SLPAI-58; 1-year;
Bachelors degree
Experienced None Lily Jasmine
SLPAI-62; 13-years; SLPAI-90; 12-years;
Bachelors degree Bachelors, masters degree and
national board certification
Veteran None None Rick
SLPAI-92; 22-years;
Bachelors degree, masters degree
and national board certification
Steve
SLPAI-90; 24-years;
Bachelors degree, masters degree
and 15-years previous experience
in educational administration

Data Sources and Analysis

Three primary data sources were identified from the activities and artifacts produced
for the formal project evaluation. The data sources were: the curriculum materials
developed individually by each participant, a reflective journal, and a post program
survey. Participants were asked to develop curriculum materials describing a lesson
or unit of study for their classroom that could be implemented in the ensuing school
year. Guidelines were provided that detailed the format of the proposed materials
including a lesson plan template requiring key elements such as teaching objectives,
state standards, background information for other teachers, activity procedures, and
assessment suggestions. Participants were given complete autonomy regarding the
science content and pedagogy. Participants were encouraged to incorporate
elements from the ICORE summer institute and create lessons that engaged
students with inquiry and active learning. During the summer institute, using
prompts and due dates that were provided at the program’s inception, participants
created a reflective journal (Appendix 1). With these prompts, participants were
encouraged to thoughtfully reflect on the program and record their emerging ideas
for how the institute materials could potentially be translated to their classrooms.
The reflective journal was submitted as an electronic document at the conclusion of
the summer institute. At the end of the academic school year, participants were

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invited to complete a Web-based, post-program survey. This survey was designed to


capture the participants’ ideas about the summer institute, as well as details
concerning their utilization and implementation of content from the summer
institute and on-going support. The survey instrument included closed and open-
ended response items (Appendix 2).
Using a constant comparative method (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), these data were
open-coded according to established themes for supporting science teacher PD
(Table 3). In addition to these themes, through the process of axial coding, we
established an additional collection of seven emergent themes unique to this
program that were classified as either affordances or constraints (Table 4). Inter-
coder reliability was not calculated, but the degree of agreement between coders
was high and the negotiation of any discrepancies to consensus served as a check of
reliability. Triangulation was achieved by constant comparison of the findings
among the data sources.

Case Results and Findings

Among other program goals, ICORE was designed to foster science teachers’ abilities to
construct and adapt curriculum materials that integrated program content. In the
following section, we present case study results for the seven teachers according to their
overall SLPAI scores. Findings for each case are arranged by (a) the specific supports
perceived as beneficial to professional growth and (b) the ways in which the PD supports
served as either affordances or constraints as they developed curriculum materials.

Top Third: ‘‘Highly Successful’’ Category

Case 1: Rick

Rick is a veteran National Board Certified Teacher of 22-years who has taught
Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science, Marine Biology Honors, and
Science Research courses in a large rural high school. Rick has earned undergraduate
and master’s degrees in science, with an additional bachelor’s degree in education.
During ICORE, Rick developed a multi-week curriculum unit to engage his students in
science research and enhance their understanding of biotechnology and molecular
biology. Rick chose the timely emergence of Dengue fever, as he hoped this topic
would be of interest to students and connect to the community. Rick designed an
experimental sequence to compare DNA and protein from different insect life stages,
specifically mosquitos that are both abundant in the state and the vector of dengue.
Rick extended the research experience to include analysis by mass spectrometry with
scientist partners and protein determination using bioinformatics databases.
With the exception of collective participation, all of the traditional PD supports
were heavily cited in Rick’s data with the support of content knowledge opportunity
coded most often. Active learning approaches and modeling instruction supported
Rick by building his confidence (‘‘I now feel much more comfortable guiding them
[students] in how to follow protocols’’-journal) and offering activities that he used

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Table 3 Established supports of successful PD coded as themes with examples from this study
Code Description from the existing literature Operational definition Coded example

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Active learning (PD1) ‘‘… Projects involved the teachers and students in Reference to the first person ‘‘The opportunity to spend 2 weeks at {the
all stages of full inquiry: from generating their process of knowing science university} having hands on research on
own questions to reporting their findings’’ biotech of emerging diseases ‘‘-Cristina,
(Jeanpierre et al., 2005 p. 683) survey
Collective participation ‘‘… Professional development that is designed for Working with groups of teachers ‘‘I really enjoyed working with all members
(PD2) groups of teachers from the same school, from a similar teaching context of the group and I can say I learned
department, or grade level’’ (Garet et al., 2001, something from everybody.’’-Jasmine,
p. 922) journal
Content knowledge ‘‘… Direct experience with science and A first person learning experiences ‘‘We were taught some of the most modern
opportunities (PD3) mathematics content and the processes of inquiry with science content, lab techniques’’-Lily, survey
and problem solving’’ (Loucks-Horsley et al., technique or research equipment
2010, p. 169)
Enhanced university and Ongoing collaboration among the providers of PD Use of a university resource other ‘‘Samples will be run on the MALDI in
school communication and participating teachers (Bell & Gilbert 1994; than ICORE or the desire to Dr.{Xxxx} lab at {the university}.’’-Rick,
(PD4) Crippen et al., 2010; Luft 2001; Jackson & Ash obtain more training or education curriculum
2012). For scientist-teacher partnerships (STP), (i.e., the university is more
this was also fostered through scientist-teacher- accessible)
and occasionally student collaborations
(Jeanpierre et al., 2005)
Modeling instruction (PD5) ‘‘… Teachers experience the true nature of the Modeling the type of instruction ‘‘I took key ideas (such as the jigsaw
disciplines and consider how to provide similar expected of participant teachers approach to a lesson) and was able to work
experiences for their students’’ (Loucks-Horsley with students in a new way’’-jasmine,
et al., 2010, p. 23) survey
Ongoing support (PD6) ‘‘… Making resources and equipment readily Use or need of ICORE resources ‘‘I would not be able to do this on my own
available, and supporting {sociotransformative after the summer institute without help/resources from {the
constructivism} STC activities in the teachers’ university}’’-Kelly, journal
classrooms’’ (Zozakiewicz & Rodriguez 2007,
p. 400)
J. C. Brown et al.
Table 4 Emergent coded themes, classifications and operational definitions
Code Classification Operational definition Example

Contextual Affordance Citing an element of the local context (i.e., student attribute, ‘‘Many of my students need to utilize these procedures to
opportunity existing activity, available resources) that supports transferability accomplish their high level science projects’’-Rick, journal
Translating Current Science

Engagement Affordance Indicating that personal use of previously unfamiliar technology is ‘‘When I return to my dorm room each day I am most impressed
with interesting and motivating for learning by the level of technology that exists (that I didn’t realize). ‘‘-
technology Steve, journal
Recognition as Affordance Reference to being treated as a professional. Having value, playing ‘‘I felt really welcome and appreciated. All doors were open to us
professional an important role in the broad goal of science education and seems that they will remain open.’’-Cristina, journal
Transferability Affordance Describing tools (e.g., PCR, gel plates) and techniques (e.g., ‘‘I have found the simulations most useful for the level of students
of tools and curriculum elements, protocols) that can now be adapted to the I am teaching’’-Jasmine, survey
techniques teacher’s individual classroom context due to cost and
convenience
Classroom Constraint Citing a limitation involving the teacher’s individual classroom ‘‘Typically a High School Science Teacher would not undertake
context context. Something other than cost the seemingly herculean task of conducting protein extraction
labs in class as they take a substantial amount of precious time.
‘‘-Kelly, curriculum
Cost Constraint Citing the expensive of a technology or supply, the limit of a ‘‘My school still does not have any funding to purchase any of the
prohibitive school budget or the need for ongoing ICORE support (e.g., use equipment or consumables.’’-Lily, survey
of locker)
Personal Constraint Citing something that prohibited engagement with the science ‘‘However, I feel that some of them, although they are very
learning content, learning materials or PD element (e.g., content too intriguing, are beyond my laboratory ability skills’’-Becky,
barrier complex) journal

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in his instructional materials (‘‘The labs for DNA extraction, PCR, protein extraction
and mass spec were conducted during ICORE.’’-curriculum). These particular
supports afforded his success, as increased confidence, content and procedural
knowledge enabled Rick to consider new levels of exploration through authentic
instructional approaches. Though he cited collective participation as an affordance, his
comments suggest that this support was minor, available in the background and not
essential to his success. Furthermore, it was important to Rick that teachers be treated
as professionals, echoing Tanner et al.’s (2003) and Harris Willcut’s (2009)
contention that a true STP should proceed with each stakeholder being treated as a
professional and each offering something of value to the relationship.
Despite his success, Rick noted instances in which his own personal learning
barriers constrained his ability. In particular, he shared how ICORE’s intensive
nature (10? h days) was at times too overwhelming, prompting him to disengage.
He also alluded to the cost of materials and students’ intimidation with molecular
biology and biotechnology as contextual constraints. However, Rick also cited the
needs of his students for their ‘‘high level science projects’’ as an element of his
context that afforded his translation. For Rick, even with personal learning barriers
and contextual constraints, the opportunity to build his science content knowledge
through modeled inquiry experiences and transferable activities built his confidence
for translating ICORE content based upon an established contextual need.

Case 2: Steve

Steve is a veteran educator of 25-years who recently returned to the classroom after
a 15-year career in education administration. Steve possesses a master’s degree in
administration, but has a very strong science research background. Using a mostly
lecture driven instructional method, Steve teaches all levels of biology in a rural
mid-sized high school. Much like Rick, Steve was intrigued by the idea of having
students compare DNA and proteins from different life stages of an insect to
illustrate that while DNA is constant in an organism, the genes expressed to code for
proteins vary, yielding altered phenotypes. He then constructed his curriculum
materials based on this interest, modifying an activity he previously taught.
In his journal, Steve described the cost associated with bringing these techniques
to the classroom as a constraint. However, with available funding from the ICORE
project he was able to overcome this obstacle and fully implement his curriculum.
Additionally, he utilized a free interactive biotechnology role-playing game (Barko
& Sadler, 2013) as a way to introduce and familiarize his students with
biotechnology methods. Steve perceived modeling instruction as most beneficial,
as this support enabled him to interact with activities such as the game and consider
ways to plan instruction around it.
Steve also found that the transferability of tools and techniques experienced during
ICORE afforded him the necessary support to be successful. More specifically, he
identified how specific tools (i.e., science equipment) eased the transition from
learning during his PD experience to actual classroom use (‘‘This simulation will allow
the student to become familiar with a number of high-tech science practices…’’-
curriculum). The camaraderie offered by collective participation was meaningful to

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Steve, and we assume that this was related to his recent hiatus from the classroom. In
Steve’s case, all of the affordances of the program seemed to have an equally positive
bearing, with a minimal regard for constraints. Steve’s case leaves the impression of a
person undergoing a renewed sense of professional interest and commitment.

Case 3: Jasmine

Jasmine is an experienced, National Board Certified Teacher of 12-years working at


a small city school. She holds an undergraduate degree in marine biology and a
master’s degree in biology education. In her school, Jasmine has taught all levels of
biology, including dual enrollment. In her curriculum materials, Jasmine modified
and greatly expanded a learning module from ICORE that focused on the invasive
bacteria Vibrio vulnificus that is found in oyster populations and is of particular
relevance to her community’s seafood industry. Jasmine shared that many of her
students have heard of illness related to the industry’s product, so their familiarity
provided students with a real-life context to study emerging pathogens with current
biotechnological methods such as antibody assays, DNA amplification, and gel
electrophoresis.
Among all of the PD supports, Jasmine felt that collective participation was the
most beneficial in helping her consider new ways to integrate content with
classroom materials. Similar to Garet et al. (2001), Jasmine described the affordance
of collective participation, specifically in creating opportunities for teachers from
the same subject area to, ‘‘discuss concepts, skills, and problems that arise during
their professional development experiences… share common curriculum materials,
course offerings, and assessment requirements…[and] sustain changes in practice
over time’’ (p. 922). In addition, she repeatedly described the use of active learning,
modeling instruction and content learning opportunities as critical affordances for
her success.
While our scoring deemed her successful, Jasmine was constrained by her
classroom context and personal learning barriers. However, she demonstrated
herself to be quite adept at translating ICORE content through the use of simulations
(‘‘I have found the simulations most useful for the level of students I am teaching’’-
survey) and the extensive use of loaned equipment and resources. Jasmine’s
resourcefulness for using the available affordances to overcome the constraints
illustrates a unique approach for successfully translating new science. We attribute
her success to applying the wisdom provided by collective participation along with
new knowledge from her personal learning to a sense of resourcefulness, allowing
her to identify and match resources in order to overcome contextual constraints.

Mid Third: ‘‘Successful’’ Category

Case 4: Cristina

Cristina is a beginner teacher who has been teaching AP Biology at a small science
and technology magnet school on the rural fringe of a large school district for
3 years. This school, graded ‘A’ at the time of this program, had the highest ranking

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among all of the cases. She has a doctoral degree in biochemistry with extensive
science research experience. In her curriculum materials, Cristina proposed to
thread an experimental sequence from ICORE investigating a plant pathogen into
her existing AP Biology curriculum incorporating several Big Ideas and Science
Practices into a themed unit. After growing susceptible plants, signs of infection
would be noted and an immunoassay performed to confirm disease. DNA
amplification, gel electrophoresis, and bioinformatics tools would identify the
modified gene and allow exploration of phylogenies and evolution. Students would
also perform protein electrophoresis to generate a protein fingerprint and identify
protein sequences through mass spectrometry, thus illustrating similarities between
DNA and protein biotechnologies.
Cristina clearly recognized the affordances of the opportunity to learn science
content via active learning and modeling instruction. However, these affordances
seemed to be rendered more into a personal motivation for knowing and
appreciating science than a motivation for providing active learning experiences
for students (‘‘I used it for my lectures.’’-survey). Collective participation meant
meeting other teachers and hearing their best practices. However, she heavily cited
the enhanced communication with university faculty as affording her the chance to
directly connect current science with the classroom through the use of resources
from partnering scientists.
For Cristina, learning the science of ICORE involved the tools and techniques of
practicing scientists and these are a costly constraint (‘‘Most important barriers to
incorporation are budget and time.’’-journal). This perspective seems to have
emanated from a combination of her background and experience as a science
researcher along with her teaching assignment of AP Biology. In addition, she cited
the number and frequency of standardized tests as constraints of the local context
that negatively impacted her ability to construct and eventually implement
materials. There was a tension noted between her perspective that the materials
and techniques were centrally important for providing a meaningful experience and
the contextual requirements of summative assessments in a high school. However,
there was no evidence that she used the affordance of collective participation as a
means for alleviating this tension. Further, her negotiation of that tension was likely
manifest in her curriculum materials and limited her translation of ICORE content.

Case 5: Lily

Lily is an experienced teacher who has been teaching for 13-years, after earning an
undergraduate degree in biology. At the time she participated in ICORE, Lily taught
Honors and AP Biology at a mid-sized city school that houses an engineering and
technology magnet program as well as an AP Academy. Lily’s curriculum centered
on a hands-on laboratory experience for her AP Biology students about the process
of PCR as well as associated biotechnology methods and applications. Lily
described the students’ acquisition of skills through hands on lab activities and
understanding of the real world application of these biotechnology techniques
through the sequential completion of labs from DNA extraction, amplification, and
electrophoresis.

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The active learning strategies and content learning opportunities afforded Lily’s
translation of curriculum materials. In her journal, she recognized these as ‘‘among
the most interesting aspects of this workshop’’ and commented that they left her
feeling better prepared. Citing six different ICORE elements in her curriculum, the
transferability of the techniques and activities allowed her to use them directly with
her students. While she mentioned the camaraderie of participating with ‘‘other
motivated teachers’’ in her post survey, it was not clear how this collective
participation may have afforded her success.
Though the rubric score indicated that Lily successfully translated content from
ICORE, she also encountered setbacks, which ultimately impeded her progress. She
acknowledged the constraints of limited class time and on multiple occasions
mentioned the cost prohibitive constraint. In her journal, she described her intent to
leverage the affordance of her context by offering parts of the curriculum during
after school time as extra credit and via an in-house field trip strategy so that more
students could benefit from participation. She demonstrated herself as equally adept
at describing how the ongoing support from ICORE enabled her to successfully
implement her curriculum materials. In fact, the biotechnology unit she designed
became the cornerstone of the year’s science instruction.

Case 6: Kelly

Kelly is a beginning, first-year teacher with an undergraduate degree in biology. At


the time she participated in ICORE, Kelly taught chemistry and biology at a small
rural high school. This school, graded ‘C’ at the time of this program had the lowest
ranking among all of the cases. In her instructional materials, Kelly outlined a series
of modules for her general biology and chemistry classes with the primary goal of
incorporating biotechnology. For example, the biology materials she created
enhanced the traditional study of DNA with the inclusion of DNA extraction and gel
electrophoresis followed by the separation of proteins using gel electrophoresis.
Chemistry students then performed mass spectrometry with assistance from
university partners, analyzed the proteins present in the sample, and shared their
findings with the biology students.
Kelly cited the range of traditional PD supports as affordances while also heavily
citing the categories of personal learning barrier and classroom context as
constraints. Active learning, modeling instruction and enhanced communication
were the most coded affordances and she associated all of these with providing
students with an appropriate science experience. She discussed how engaging in
active learning opportunities helped her envision ways to integrate biotechnology
practices with science topics such as DNA structure and evolution. These active
learning experiences enabled Kelly to engage with new content and practices.
Additionally, Kelly and her fellow teachers were provided with structured time to
reflect on their experience and envision how they might integrate them into
instruction.
While Kelly acknowledged multiple ICORE supports as affording her opportu-
nities to translate current science, she also experienced strong personal learning
barriers that ultimately caused her to feel overwhelmed and inadequately supported

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at times. Much of this seems attributable to the significant task of trying to learn
science content while simultaneously thinking about how to apply it with students.
She found herself viewing the reflective journal assignment as ‘‘just another thing to
do on Thursday’’-survey. In addition, Kelly cited many instances of her classroom
context constraining her curriculum (e.g., ‘‘Typically a High School Science
Teacher would not undertake the seemingly herculean task of conducting protein
extraction labs’’-curriculum, ‘‘I’m not sure how to simply {sic} the process to a
level my students would understand’’-journal).

Bottom Third: ‘‘Minimally Successful’’ Category

Case 7: Becky

Becky was classified as a beginning teacher with 5 years of experience at a large


suburban school. She possessed an undergraduate degree in biology and master’s
degree in public health. Becky proposed to enhance her existing 6-week unit on
bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protists with new content from the summer institute to
introduce students to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, and their health
and environmental impacts both locally and globally. Students were expected to
review the general characteristics of each of these pathogens and the techniques
used by clinical and research scientists to detect and diagnose them including the
use of DNA analysis and antibody-based assays.
It was challenging to identify instances in which Becky spoke openly about the
ways in which ICORE’s designed supports afforded her with opportunities to
translate science content. When Becky did make explicit mention of a particular
support (e.g., active learning), she spoke of how it supported her professional
advancement, rather than assisting her in constructing instructional materials. She
did not make mention of collective participation and her comments in relation to
enhanced communication and support were minimal and focused on their existence
more than how they could afford her curriculum.
In the end, the instructional materials that Becky constructed only minimally
integrated ICORE content. Though in her abstract, Becky described how she
intended to involve her students in multiple activities that she had engaged in at
ICORE, her actual curriculum materials featured primarily teacher-driven lectures.
She also identified constraints that ultimately impacted her experience and success,
including the perception that the content and procedures were too advanced for her
ability.

Cross-Case Findings

In the following section, we begin by acknowledging the potential influence of


professional experience on the findings, then examine the ways that teachers
described (a) the affordances of explicit and emergent supports and (b) constraints
that impacted their construction and adaptation of the instructional materials. In
order to address our first research question, we differentiate individual teacher
characteristics from program level supports.

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Of our seven teachers, although each translated ICORE to some degree, three of
the four least successful were classified as beginner teachers. Conversely, all three
cases that were highly successful were either experienced or veteran teachers.
Moreover, all the highly successful teachers constructed novel materials, whereas
the majority of the successful and minimally successful teachers primarily adapted
pre-existing program materials. Though Kelly also constructed novel materials, she
reported in her survey that they were ultimately not practical in her context. For
these cases, professional experience was a strong predictor of success. By
purposefully including teachers of varying experience, we attempted to use this
potential limitation to differentiate the affordances of program structures from those
that have a differential impact based upon individual teacher characteristics.
Across the cases, all of the established PD supports appeared to serve as
relatively strong affordances (Table 3). Regardless of their overall success, teachers
offered evidence for how each of these supports provided them opportunities for
growth. More specifically, teachers felt that active learning, content knowledge, and
modeling instruction were most beneficial. Of interest were the various ways that
these supports interacted with teacher characteristics to afford support. They were
found to reignite a passion for science (Lily; Steve; Rick; Kelly), inspire a feeling of
confidence (Rick; Steve; Becky), offer in-depth extensions to existing instruction
(Cristina; Jasmine) and helpful for incorporating hands-on activities (Steve;
Cristina; Lily).
As mentioned previously, one-strength of a STP lies in the opportunities for
enhanced communication between teachers and professional scientists. This
particular support, cited in all cases, afforded teachers’ construction of materials
through simultaneously providing a learning opportunity with example activities for
potential translation to the high school classroom. STPs are unique in that they offer
ample opportunities for collaboration between practicing teachers and scientists,
which typically would not otherwise exist. Yet, collaboration among teachers from
the same subject area, grade level or discipline is also accepted as essential for
professional growth.
With the exception of Becky, all teachers considered collective participation as
beneficial. When teachers discussed how this support served as an affordance, they
stated it helped to retain effective teachers (Rick), remember pertinent ICORE content
(Steve), support troubleshooting and problem solving (Jasmine; Kelly), network
individuals (Cristina; Lily), share best practices (Cristina), and create a welcoming
environment (Jasmine). This is another case of an established support affording
successful completion of the task, but doing so in different ways based upon individual
characteristics. In this regard, we found the varied use of collective participation by the
experienced teachers who were either successful or highly successful to stand in stark
contrast to the lack of a clear purpose for this support by the beginning teachers. For
example, Steve used it as a mechanism to rejuvenate and share his enthusiasm for
returning to teaching while Jasmine used it as a means of collaboration and pooling the
group’s wisdom to help her best use the resources to overcome her contextual
constraints. When the inexperienced teachers cited collective participation it lacked an
obvious purpose related to the task and instead focused more on fellowship, such as the
appreciation for working with others (Kelly).

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In addition to those supports already identified in the literature, this study identified
additional supports as program affordances. The strongest evidence for such an
affordance existed for transferability of materials, as it was uniquely identified for all
but one of the cases (Kelly). This suggests that for these teachers, the more the ICORE
activities were developed in an appropriate fashion for high school, the better the
probability of teachers translating them. There is also solid evidence for the affordance
of professional recognition, as it was identified in four of the seven cases at each of the
three levels of success. Though engagement with technology was established as an
affordance for these teachers, the topic focus of biotechnology for the program meant
that we could not differentiate this as a program level affordance. Finally, the
affordance of contextual opportunity implies that for some of these teachers,
successful translation involved a bi-directional flow of information. However, this was
only cited by one of the three highly successful teachers (Rick) and three of the others
(Lily, Kelly, Cristina). This suggests that this affordance may have been related to a
teacher-level characteristic rather than the program.
As for constraints, each of the teachers spoke of a form of personal learning
barrier impeding their engagement with science content and the learning materials,
as well as their overall success. Harris Willcuts (2009) described this as teachers’
difficulty placing themselves in the role of adult learners. Although the teachers in
our study shared this commonality, the particular learning barriers they experienced
varied greatly. Examples included unclear activity procedures (Rick), other
participants interrupting presentations (Kelly) or presentations not perceived as
engaging (Lily). Despite using research grounded experiences, constraints to teacher
growth are not uncommon and can seriously impede any program’s success (Bell &
Gilbert, 1994; Crippen et al., 2010; Parke & Coble, 1997). This constraint could
potentially be addressed with the inclusion of a new programmatic structure that
provides time and space for participants to identify any learning challenges that they
might be experiencing. One-on-one and group troubleshooting sessions have shown
to be effective for this purpose (Bell & Gilbert, 1994).
In addition, all teachers indicated constraints in their classroom context. In these
instances, it seemed that teachers’ perceptions of their students negatively impacted
their ability to construct complex instructional materials. Jasmine and Becky, who
did not previously acknowledge contextual opportunities, saw the classroom context
as constraining implementation because they lacked basic ‘‘equipment required to
run [the activities]’’ (Becky, journal), including ‘‘simple things like hot water’’
(Jasmine, journal). Though external to ICORE, these issues still have the potential
to impact a teacher’s performance.

Discussion

The results of this study have direct implications for ICORE as well as research and
development related to the broad concept of a successful STP. Due to its rigorous
activities and focus on advanced science content, ICORE has traditionally catered to
more experienced teachers. However, we acknowledge that curriculum materials are
one of the most direct connections bridging current science with the high school

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classroom. Therefore, a redesign of ICORE is merited and should include strategies


specifically intended to enhance teachers’ pedagogical design capacity, or ‘‘ability to
perceive and mobilize existing resources in order to craft instructional contexts’’
(Brown & Edelson, 2003, p.6). Since experienced and beginning teachers had
different experiences and success in creating curriculum materials, the expectations
and program supports for each should be adjusted accordingly. For example, adapting
pre-existing materials may be an appropriate expectation for beginning teachers,
whereas creating entirely new or significantly modified materials would be more
appropriate for experienced teachers. Collective participation needs to continue as a
support for experienced teachers, but its lack of purpose for beginner teachers
suggests that this time could be better allocated. For experienced teachers, this STP
should provide opportunities to critically explore learning resources in order to
respond to the needs of their students or address other contextual barriers. For all
teachers, the STP needs to afford making instructional goals explicit and linking them
to specific curriculum features (Beyer & Davis, 2012; Brown & Edelson, 2003). Other
recently reported results suggest that programs that utilize purposeful lesson planning
strategies, such as vertical alignment of science content and adherence to a structured
lesson-planning format, have had great success aiding teachers in the construction of
instructional materials (Jackson & Ash, 2012). Revising ICORE with these additional
supports would likely bolster the success of all participants.
All but one of the seven teachers commented on the cost associated with
translating ICORE. While connecting teachers and students with authentic science
practices and content is a strength of the program, this particular constraint suggests
that the program designers must reconsider strategies for making their products
more sustainable, as Fishman, Marx, Blumenfeld, Krajcik, and Soloway (2004)
warn, ‘‘if the conditions depend heavily upon an infusion of extra support from
researchers, this may pose a challenge to scalability and sustainability’’ (p. 47). This
message is especially salient when working with teachers from rural and urban
schools, as a lack of educational resources and funding are characteristic of these
settings (Calabrese Barton, 2007; Darling-Hammond, 2010; Lee & Luykx, 2007).
Thus, future iterations of ICORE need to make widely available more cost-effective
ways for teachers and students to access current science. For example, consider the
wealth of interactive simulations that could be used in lieu of physical resources
(e.g., Tate, Clark, Gallagher & McLaughlin, 2008; Davis & Varma, 2008). Time
would need to be allocated within the program for introducing these resources and
providing teachers with the opportunity to consider their use, but such alternatives
have proven successful in similar PD programs (Jeanpierre et al., 2005).
Within the STP, the role of the scientist needs to evolve beyond simply serving as a
content expert. With ICORE, the scientist has not traditionally engaged with teachers
in extended collaboration. Unfortunately, such a unidirectional relationship is not
uncommon and poses a challenge to the overall success of any STP (Tanner et al.,
2003). In true scientist-teacher collaboration, teachers and scientists work together to
conduct investigations (Jeanpierre et al., 2005; Harris Willcuts, 2009), apply new
teaching strategies (Trautmann & MaKinster, 2005), and design instructional
materials (National Research Council, 1996; Trautmann & MaKinster, 2005). While
ICORE teachers and scientists have often described feelings of mutual respect and

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professional recognition, other studies have found that unidirectional collaborations


can leave both parties feeling overextended and underappreciated (Falloon &
Trewern, 2013). We recognize that initiatives exist that promote extended collabo-
ration between scientists and teachers, but in our experience these endeavors are often
short-term commitments due to the scientists’ primary responsibility to their research
and the teachers’ increasing obligations during the school year.
Involving scientists in integral ways can include serving as on-site help to
teachers (Tanner et al., 2003), guiding teachers through inquiry investigations and
design (Harris Willcuts, 2009), and collaborating with teachers in curriculum design
(National Research Council 1996; Trautmann & MaKinster, 2005). Such
approaches facilitate teachers’ learning of content knowledge and a deeper
understanding of the nature of science, while scientists become more knowledgeable
of school system realities and better able to advocate for science education reform
(Harris Willcuts, 2009).
In addition to the previously reported supports, this study indicates that explicit
and emergent PD supports for ICORE were also beneficial. The emergent supports
of transferability of materials, contextual opportunities, engagement with technol-
ogy, and professional recognition were unique to the teachers of this case study, but
require further investigation within other contexts. In addition, we see merit in
exploring potential benefits to research faculty and graduate students who
participate in a STP. A deeper understanding of the benefits and constraints for
all stakeholders could inform systemic changes that further strengthen science
education across the K-20 continuum.

Conclusion

This study endeavored to better understand how participation in a STP, a unique


form of teacher PD, could serve as a vehicle for translating current science into high
school curriculum materials. ICORE, the program at the focus of this study, engages
high school teachers in collaboration with university scientists and has been
designed with multiple supports to bridge the world of science research with the
world of the high school science classroom. Our results show that each of the seven
cases successfully translated ICORE content to instructional materials, but to
varying degrees. Though participants perceived many explicit and emergent
supports as affordances, they also experienced constraints to the process. Using this
information to better design ICORE and as a foundation for future research in other
STPs may serve to more efficiently and effectively translate current science.
Ultimately, better affording the translation of current science is fundamental to
achieving the vision espoused in the NRC Framework (2012), and we believe that
STPs offer great potential for achieving such a task.

Acknowledgments Funding for the ICORE program was provided by the Howard Hughes Medical
Institute through Precollege Science Education Award #51006103. Thank you to Houda Darwiche and
Drew Joseph for their help with scoring curriculum units.

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Appendix 1: Reflective Journal Prompts

One of the techniques social scientists use to collect data is the reflective question.
This is a qualitative technique designed to get you as a participant to reflect deeply
on your experience and provide insights for use in assessment and evaluation. Very
often reflective questions are developed as ‘‘prompts’’ designed to allow participants
to create journal entries over a period of time.
For this part of our assessment, we are asking you to write a journal entry focused
on answering and reflecting on the reflective question ‘‘prompts’’ indicated below.
We ask that you please complete each entry by the specified due date, writing your
responses into a Word document, dating each entry and saving to the supplied flash
drive. Your responses should be detailed, and a minimum of 300 words or
approximately one half page. We will collect these entries on the final day of the
workshop. Thanks in advance for your participation!
1. Have you ever participated in a program like this before? What would you like
to learn from this experience? What expectations do you have about the
program?
2. Now that we are a few days into the program, what topics/experiences have you
found most interesting/least interesting? How is the workshop meeting/not
meeting your expectations? Describe two things you plan to incorporate into
your classroom- what are they, how will you incorporate, and why.
3. Describe any additional topics/activities that you plan to incorporate into your
classroom—what are they, how will you incorporate and why? Are there any
barriers or constraints that you foresee to utilizing what you are learning in your
classroom? If so, what are these and how can you overcome them?
4. What do you think of the overall workshop? Describe and evaluate your
experience and reflect on what you have learned. If you could provide some
advice to the administrators of this project to improve it, what advice would you
give? If you could provide some advice to future teachers involved in this
workshop, what would you advise? What overall recommendations do you have
to improve this program?

Appendix 2: Post-program Survey

1. In your opinion, what was the primary professional or personal benefit of the
ICORE experience?
2. Do you think your ICORE experience will have an impact on student
achievement? Why or why not?
3. Did you incorporate the biotechnology equipment lockers into your curric-
ulum during year 1 (2010–2011)? Why or why not? Discuss the outcomes.
4. Do you anticipate incorporating the biotechnology equipment lockers into
your curriculum next year (2011–2012)? Why or why not?
5. Did you bring students to the UF campus or another affiliated research site as
an extension of your ICORE experience? Discuss the outcomes.

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6. Did you incorporate ICORE elements in your curriculum during year 1 (2010/
2011)? Why or why not? Discuss the outcomes and/or hindrances.
7. Do you anticipate incorporating ICORE elements in your curriculum during
next school year (2011/2012)? Why or why not? Discuss the benefits and/or
hindrances.
8. Have you registered for the three tuition free graduate credits associated with
the Summer Institute? Why or why not? What factors at the personal/school/
district/state/federal level affected your participation?
9. Are you interested in pursuing an advanced degree? Would a program in a
different discipline be more appealing? If so, what? What benefit does an
advanced degree offer you either personally or professionally?
10. Were there any particular aspects of the ICORE experience that you feel
should have been handled differently or could be improved? If so, please
describe.
11. If you have any additional comments about your ICORE experience that you
think would be important for us to know, please write them in the space below.

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