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The CAREERS Project


Purpose

The CAREERS (Change Associated with Readiness, Education, & Efficacy in Reform Science) research project will advance the knowledge base on preparation and induction of elementary science teachers by examining teacher learning and the effects of professional development at the pre-service level over time. A team that includes science educators, district-based scholar-practitioners and teachers, psychologists, and research scientists collaborates to conduct and disseminate its results for academic and school-based audiences.

Teachers in training

Goals

The goals of CAREERS are to:

  • provide a longitudinal study of teacher skills and dispositions over three critical transition periods along the Teacher Professional Continuum from pre-service methods, through student teaching, and into induction years.
  • import constructs (e.g., efficacy and trans-theoretical change model-TTM) from the field of psychology and adult education (e.g., transfer of training) to study the changes in teacher attitudes, dispositions, and practice following experiences with inquiry pedagogy.
  • determine the optimal combination of experiences and support (both materials and quality of mentoring) that lead to highly qualified elementary science teachers.
  • develop a partnership between researchers and practitioners to conduct useful research that will have the an impact on school practice in science as well as making a significant contribution to the research literature.

Implications

Teachers in trainingCAREERS will provide key information concerning the pre-service instruction and district support that are needed to develop highly qualified elementary teachers of science. The findings of the on-going research are intended for both academic and practitioner audiences. The interdisciplinary nature of the research team invites the significant contributions in several fields: teacher education (pre-service and in-service), science education, adult education, and psychology.










Project Funding

CAREERS study is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0455685. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

 

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