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Title: Investigating the impact of research-based professional development on teacher learning and classroom practice: Findings from computer science education
As the field of computer science (CS) is gaining increased attention, the need for qualified teachers is rapidly growing. Yet little is still known about the design features, implementation, and outcomes of professional development programs in computing. The purpose of this study is threefold: (a) examine a CS professional development program built around high-quality design features reported in the research literature, (b) investigate the impact of the program on participating teachers’ learning and classroom practice, and (c) identify specific design features that facilitated changes in teacher learning and practice. The study employed a mixed-methods design. Data were collected from multiple sources including, pre and post survey data on teacher knowledge of CS content, pedagogy, and technology (N = 94), as well as interviews and classroom implementation data from eight case study participants. Findings from this work indicated that participants reported improvements in their knowledge of CS content, pedagogy, and technology. They also applied new learning into their practice, though implementation varied among participants. Responding on the value of the professional development design features, teachers noted the importance of focusing on CS content knowledge as well as opportunities to engage with pedagogical practices for teaching computing. Findings also indicated the important role of contextualized follow-up classroom support in the implementation of new learning into practice. These findings have implications for the design of professional development programs grounded in best practices with the potential to support broad efforts intended to prepare teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to deliver CS education.  more » « less
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Computers and education
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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