The Effect of a professional development program on physics teachers‟ knowledge and their students‟ achievement in modern physics unit

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2014
Balta, Nuri
This study offers an in-service training course model for teacher professional development titled "teachers teaching teachers" (TTT), where teachers from nearby schools congregate once a week, share their instructional practices, narrate and discuss the subjects that they will present to their students in the following week. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of the TTT course on physics teachers’ knowledge and their students’ achievements in high school Modern Physics Unit (MPU). The study was conducted in the second semester of the 2012-2013 academic year with six high school teachers and 306 students from Anatolian high schools located in Yenimahalle, Altindağ, and Mamak districts of Ankara. Initially, the TTT course was pilot studied by conducting a two-week adaptation meeting. Then, the participant teachers taught (pre-teaching) the tenth grade MPU to one of their classes, and the achievement test was applied to all these classes as pre- and post-tests. Two months later, four (treatment group) of these six teachers taught the MPU to one of their other classes after participating to the TTT course (post-teaching), and the remaining two teachers (placebo group) also taught the same unit to one of their other classes as usual without participating to TTT course. The aim of constructing the placebo group was to eliminate any possible effect of pre-teaching on post-teaching. After post-teaching, the same achievement test was applied to students and a separate achievement test was applied to teachers as pre- and post-test. On the other hand, 12 classes in total were observed and lessons were video recorded in due course of both pre- and post-teachings. Additionally, the TTT courses were also observed and were evaluated by the participant teachers. Document analysis was conducted for the qualitative data that was obtained through class observations including video recordings. For the placebo group, these analyses showed that there was no effect of pre-teaching on the post-teaching of the teachers. For the treatment group, these analyses showed that the TTT had a positive effect on the post-teaching of the teachers. When compared to pre-teaching, an increment was observed in the treatment group teachers’ subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, however, no change was observed in teachers’ pedagogical knowledge during post-teaching. ANCOVA was used to analyse the quantitative data, which was collected from the MPU achievement test that was applied to the tenth grade students. The results of ANCOVA for the placebo group showed that there was no effect of pre-teaching. The results of ANCOVA for the treatment group showed that there was a significant effect of the TTT on the students’ achievements. The separate achievement test applied to the teachers showed that while the means of the pre- and post-test scores of placebo group teachers were approximately the same, the means of the post-test scores of the treatment group teachers were higher than their means of the pre-test scores. Additionally, the course evaluation form results showed that the participant teachers had positive attitudes toward the TTT course. The successful implementation of the TTT and its positive effects indicate that the programs that possesses effective characteristics of PD can improve teachers’ knowledge and can positively impact student achievement.

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Citation Formats
N. Balta, “The Effect of a professional development program on physics teachers‟ knowledge and their students‟ achievement in modern physics unit,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2014.