Addressing Equity and Diversity with Teachers Through Informal Science Institutions and Teacher Professional Development

April 1st, 2011 | RESEARCH

This study explores how activities developed by science experts in partnership with middle school teachers were employed and interpreted. The goals of this partnership were to (a) help the science teacher meet earth science content standards in new ways, (b) expose students to 'real world' experiences outside their school setting, and (c) positively impact teacher practice by providing a program to be used as a catalyst for future learning. Over 300 sixth graders mostly underrepresented science students attended activities at an aquarium serving an urban West Coast urban context. Science teachers, non-science teachers, scientists, and volunteers were all engaged in pre-trip instruction, professional development opportunities, and follow-up activities as this partnership effort explored ways to enhance local literacy initiatives across the curriculum. Results suggest that teacher beliefs about informal education impacted their view and participation in the program and the level of submersion of teachers in collaboration strongly affects the ability to serve underrepresented students on informal excursions. Implications for teacher education and outreach are discussed.


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Team Members

Randy Yerrick, Author, University of Buffalo
Danielle Beatty-Adler, Author, San Diego State University


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1007/s10972-011-9226-3
Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 1046-560X

Publication: Journal of Science Teacher Education
Volume: 22
Number: 3
Page(s): 229

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Access and Inclusion: Urban
Audience: Educators | Teachers | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Aquarium and Zoo Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Public Programs