See Related: Science PD Models

Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Katherine McNeill

    Katherine McNeill

    Associate Professor of Science Education
    May 16, 2016 | 02:06 p.m.

    Great project! I love the focus on elementary science.

  • Icon for: Sara Lacy

    Sara Lacy

    Senior Scientist
    May 16, 2016 | 03:47 p.m.

    Interesting model! How do you recruit the students for week 2?

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 04:20 p.m.

    Hi, Sara-
    We partner with our local Housing Authority and Voluntary Action Center to provide scholarships, and also place a listing with our community’s summer science camp guide. We have built up a reputation over the past 7 years, and so we have parents (and grandparents) calling us to find out dates for the next camp by January! Word of mouth has worked extremely well for us.

  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Senior Science Educator
    May 16, 2016 | 03:53 p.m.

    I like the close link between deeper knowledge and application of new learning. The elementary science curriculum covers many core ideas and practices. How do you decide what content to focus on in Week 1?

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 04:21 p.m.

    We focus on physical science, since research shows this is typically the area in which elementary teachers are least prepared. When we were a K6 program, we had a new physical science topic from the NSES each year. In this project, we focused on grade 3, then 4, then 5 in consecutive years, so we chose topics that aligned with the NGSS in consultation with our district partners.

  • Icon for: Susan Kowalski

    Susan Kowalski

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 16, 2016 | 03:57 p.m.

    I enjoyed hearing the teachers’ reflections on what the QUEST project meant to them. In particular, I found the comment about searching for and finding community intriguing. What have you found about how many teachers are continuing to participate in learning communities at the end of the project?

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 04:23 p.m.

    Hi, Susan-
    This would definitely be worthwhile for us to study more systematically— from our prior state-funded iteration of the project, we have lots of anecdotal evidence about how teachers across different schools/districts have paired up to attend other workshops, present at NSTA conferences, meet weekly to co-plan their science lessons, and support implementing school science nights. We have an annual ‘alumni workshop’ held in conjunction with our state science teachers’ association as well, and invite past participants to bring a friend. This gives them a way to both reconnect and build that network.
    In terms of the current NSF funded work, we just wrapped up work with our 2nd cohort (4th grade) and will begin working with our final cohort (5th grade) in just a few weeks!

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 05:22 p.m.

    Thanks so much for viewing our video and learning more about how teachers feel our practicum-based professional development model has impacted them! You can learn more about our project and contact us at http://sciencequest.missouri.edu

  • Icon for: Victor van den Bergh

    Victor van den Bergh

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 09:02 p.m.

    Dear Deborah, Delinda, and your teams – Interesting project! I love how you put teachers in the position of “learner” in week one and get students involved soon after that. The network you have been able to develop and enthusiasm for collaboration and professional development among teachers in Missouri is very impressive. In your opinion, what are they keys to getting science teachers to embrace a new approach to science instruction, like this, when, as one teacher acknowledged, it can be easy to “close the door” on one’s classroom? What challenges have you faced over the course of growing your network and how have you addressed these? Your insights will be very valuable to others seeking to grow their own programs! Thank you for your excellent video.

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 12:31 p.m.

    Hi, Victor-
    You picked up on an important part of the project— putting teachers in the position of learner. This is a very difficult shift, as teachers are accustomed to always ‘thinking like a teacher’— and many programs engage them in student curricula. One key difference in our project is that we utilize a physics curriculum that models the same pedagogy we teach them, but that is written to meet their needs as adult learners (ie, they aren’t asked to ‘play elementary students’). Teachers find themselves feeling quite vulnerable during this process, and as they work together in teams, they build quite a bit of trust in each other through this shared experience. They realize the benefits of supporting one another, and ways their colleagues can contribute to their own understanding. Teachers embrace these approaches both because they experience how their own learning was impacted, but also because they get to see these approaches work with students in week 2.
    To address your second question, we found that the networks and connections grew much more organically among teachers who self-selected to attend our first iteration of workshops; these folks had the opportunity to return each year, and often talked their colleagues into joining them. Since we have developed a research design that limits participation to partner schools and specific grade levels each year (to better help us understand student impacts and the contribution of the practicum to teacher learning), we’ve found that to be occurring in a slightly different way. While volunteer participants may not be the best for a clean quasi-experimental research design, we’ve realized that a context like that offers different affordances for building community networks among teachers.

  • Icon for: Victor van den Bergh

    Victor van den Bergh

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 09:56 p.m.

    Thank you for your response, Deborah! It really underscores the strengths of your approach, like being organic and having teachers think like students.

  • Small default profile

    Lee Collier

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 11:52 a.m.

    This is a great program for teacher’s in Missouri. Good luck!

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 20, 2016 | 10:04 a.m.

    Thanks, Lee!

  • Icon for: Karen Purcell

    Karen Purcell

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 01:30 p.m.

    Dear Deborah, Delinda, and Teams,
    Thanks for a great video and important project. I especially love the way in which teachers can overcome their own insecurities in the sciences in a safe and supported setting.
    How did you recruit teachers for the program? Was there any particular emphasis on recruiting and supporting teachers working in underserved communities? And how will you measure the impact of participation?
    Thanks again for doing such important work. This has enormous potential.

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 11:08 a.m.

    Hi, Karen-
    We currently work with a mixture of urban/rural/suburban school districts including St. Louis, Normandy, Columbia, Fulton, and Independence— within these districts we also have Title I school partners.
    We are measuring impacts on teacher content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and classroom practices (PCK)— we are also measuring student impacts in the final year (grade 5 is when our state tests) as a function of how many years students were taught by QuEST-participating teachers.

  • Icon for: Karen Purcell

    Karen Purcell

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 12:31 p.m.

    Thanks Deborah!

  • Small default profile

    Hannah Doughty

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 02:16 p.m.

    I loved being a part of Quest and it has helped me become a better science teacher!

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 10:16 a.m.

    Thanks, Hannah! We hope you will come to our alumni workshop this summer! You can find more info on our website!

  • Icon for: Jennifer Richards

    Jennifer Richards

    Research Associate
    May 17, 2016 | 11:44 p.m.

    Hi Deborah — this sounds like a great approach, and something similar to a summer institute model some of my colleagues at the University of Washington are trying! Are teachers able to come back for multiple summers? Are there any ongoing meetings or job-embedded opportunities during the school year?

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 11:08 a.m.

    In our first iteration of the program, yes— we had teachers who would work toward building a ‘critical mass’ within their school by bringing along colleagues in subsequent years.
    We do a series of 4 Saturday follow-up sessions during the academic year, and also visit teachers classrooms to observe & support their efforts.

  • Small default profile

    Betsy Brown

    Guest
    May 19, 2016 | 03:42 p.m.

    What a great model. So much more effective than just sitting at an in-service and then leaving to go do it yourself. Practicing with children and other teachers is a critical component. And making it fun is also a crucial part of getting teachers to use what they’ve learned in training. Great job and I hope other universities will look at this model and replicate it!

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 20, 2016 | 10:03 a.m.

    Thanks so much, Betsy!

  • Icon for: Joseph Wilson

    Joseph Wilson

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2016 | 08:06 p.m.

    #teamDeborah – I love the approach of putting teachers (especially elementary teachers) in the role of science learners! I know the video touched upon the network of teachers that this helps create, but I was wondering if you could talk more about that network (and potentially the demographics of teachers and students the PD program reaches). This makes me wish I was a PK-5 elementary science specialist!

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 20, 2016 | 10:08 a.m.

    As Nicole in our video mentioned, teaching is often an isolated task— the teachers in our program have provided us with feedback that the opportunity to work with teachers from other schools and districts (cross-pollination, so to speak) allows them to bring in new ideas, share resources, and compare approaches. During week 2, the collaboration on translating what they learned, as adults, into age-appropriate experiences for their own students allows them to draw on each other’s expertise— new ideas for engineering design tasks, projects, etc. are contributed to support the developing conceptual storyline.

  • Small default profile

    Anne Henning

    Guest
    May 21, 2016 | 01:34 a.m.

    Still proudly wearing the T-shirt eight years later – from my first of three summers in QUEST’s 80-hour professional development opportunity. Cognitive dissonance, experienced the first week as a learner, became our new and best teacher, for we knew we were on the brink of insight and real understanding. Teaching the summer school program the second week, in small groups with colleague support, afforded the opportunity to witness students’ misconceptions clear and real comprehension unfold! Those early QUESTORS grew to love science and are now entering college – many in science related fields!

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 22, 2016 | 10:14 a.m.

    What a great update, Anne! I hope we’ll see you at this year’s alumni workshop— more info on the QuEST site!

  • Icon for: Barbara Rogoff

    Barbara Rogoff

    UCSC Foundation Professor of Psychology
    May 20, 2016 | 06:11 p.m.

    My 5-year-old grandson says: “I like how they were teaching people about circuits.”

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 22, 2016 | 10:14 a.m.

    We are so grateful for the community support to allow us to offer the teaching practicum for teachers!

  • Small default profile

    Maria Yaksic

    Guest
    May 22, 2016 | 05:56 a.m.

    I was very lucky to be part of QUEST in previous summers. Thanks to this program I’m a better teacher because I now understand the science behind what I need to teach in my classroom. It also provided me with a great network of teachers. If I feel uncertain of any science concept or how to go about teaching it, I know who to reach out to and get the needed information.

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 22, 2016 | 10:13 a.m.

    We have so appreciated our continued collaboration with you, Maria! Thanks for being willing to co-present at NSTA this year!

  • Icon for: Nancy Romance

    Nancy Romance

    Professor
    May 23, 2016 | 04:33 p.m.

    Allowing your teachers to learn by investigation is an effective way for them to learn. Also, allowing the teachers flexibility in the way they present the material to their students is an invaluable element. What a great program for elementary teachers!

  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 05:31 p.m.

    Thanks, Nancy!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.

  1. Deborah Hanuscin
  2. Associate Professor
  3. QuEST: Quality Elementary Science Teaching
  4. http://sciencequest.missouri.edu
  5. University of Missouri
  1. Delinda van Garderen
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Delinda_Van_Garderen2/
  3. Associate Professor
  4. QuEST: Quality Elementary Science Teaching
  5. http://sciencequest.missouri.edu
  6. University of Missouri

Practicum Based Professional Development: the Quality Elementary Science Teaching Program
DRL-1316683

QuEST is a practicum-based professional development program that supports elementary teachers in meeting the needs of all learners in science. Week one of the summer institute focuses on content and pedagogy, while in week two, teachers collaborate to implement what they learn with elementary students. With support from NSF, we are researching the impact of this model on teacher and student learning.