Date of Award

12-2017

Type

Dissertation

Major

Doctor of Education

Department

Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

Abstract

With the publication of A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (National Research Council, 2012), the dominant instructional approach for science education in the United States changed from teaching science as a process of inquiry to teaching science as a practice, using science and engineering practices. Middle and high school science teachers in the State of Georgia implemented the practices for the first time during 2017-2018 school year while teaching the new Science Georgia Standards of Excellence. Teachers who have been successful at making such instructional changes have done so with the support of their principals and when both the teacher and principal were aware of the concerns of teachers. The purpose of this mixed method study was to determine the extent to which there were differences between the perceptions middle and high school science teachers had about science and engineering practices and administrative support provided by principals during the implementation of the Science Georgia Standards of Excellence in southwest Georgia. Based on the data collected from 23 middle school and 31 high school science teachers from three school systems through web-based surveys and focus group discussions, the results indicated that there were significant differences between the two groups of science teachers in the level of concern about one of the eight practices and the level of agreement about two of six statements about administrative support provided by principals. Also, science teachers reported the quality of professional development, feedback and guidance, and students’ abilities are factors contributing to their concerns about the practices. The researcher described implications for professional development and collaboration for science teachers and principals.

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