Capstone/Dissertation Title

Teaching inquiry-based Minnesota earth science (TIMES): a study of the long-range effects of the TIMES professional development program on teacher practice

Term

2012

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

This capstone is a descriptive case study of 10 years of the TIMES Project professional development program. The research question addressed: To what extent has involvement in the TIMES Project influenced participant's classroom practice, and how sustained are these changes over time? After 13 programs, this capstone measured long-range impacts of the TIMES Project by directly soliciting information from past TIMES participants. An online survey instrument requested data related to (a) use of outdoor teaching and learning, (b) confidence in their understanding of local and state geology, (c) inquiry-based instruction, (d) engagement in professional/leadership roles, (e) frequency of use for specific teaching strategies pre- and post-TIMES, and (f) continued influences of TIMES on their teaching. Results show (a) increased use of outdoor student field investigations, (b) increased confidence in teaching geologic concepts, (c) increased use of examples from Minnesota geology, and (d) increased use of inquiry-based teaching strategies over time.

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