Flipping elementary professional development : providing time and flexibility to learn inquiry science
Knight, Ann Elizabeth
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Elementary science educators in Katy Independent School District voiced concerns that there simply is not enough time to participate in professional development. Teachers claimed district-provided trainings are not convenient to their busy schedules, courses and times are limited, content is lacking, and the level of instruction is superficial because presentation time is inadequate. The purpose of this action research project was to provide meaningful inquiry science professional development over an extended period of time. Elementary science teachers voluntarily participated in this four week action research project. The treatment consisted of a blended learning model which incorporated the use of an online learning platform along with traditional face-to-face professional development. Each week, participants worked at their own pace and completed assignments which focused on strengthening elementary inquiry science skills. Teachers were afforded opportunities to collaborate with fellow classmates using the online discussion board and at meetings. Teachers' beliefs regarding professional growth, collaboration, and self-efficacy for learning about and implementing inquiry science were measured throughout the treatment. Results from this action research project prove teachers received significant benefits from participation in a blended professional model where peer collaboration is encouraged. This qualitative study verified participation in a flipped professional development course does provide teachers time and flexibility to learn about inquiry science and collaborate with peers.