The Effects of a professional development program on physics teachers’ classroom practices

Oktay, Özlem
The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of a professional development (PD) program on in-service physics teachers’ classroom practices. Changes in teachers’ practices were investigated in terms of four dimensions: content/skill/ misconception, teaching strategy, material/technology, and assessment. Qualitative research methodology was used in the study, and a case study was combined with action research. Data were collected from seven participating teachers (1 male, 6 female) and their 9th grade students in Ankara. The study was conducted in 2012-2013 academic year during the long term PD treatment. Since the physics curriculum was updated in 2013, in-service physics teachers’ classroom practices were assessed on the common topics of the two units: Nature of Physics Unit (NOP) in 2012 and Introduction to Science of Physics (ISOP) in 2013. Teacher survey on the NOP unit PD program (TSNOP), observation form (OF), student group interview protocol (SGIP), documents, treatment fidelity expert opinion form (TFEOF), treatment verification opinion form (TVOF), and professional development program evaluation interview protocol (PDEIP) were developed as measuring instruments for the study. The PD model framework has four main components; analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation. Twelve PD characteristics were integrated in the new PD model framework. The process of the PD program was explained in the following five phases: Before Workshop I, during Workshop I, between Workshop I and Workshop II, During Workshop II, and after workshop II. Thematic coding was utilized under each dimension. The data were evaluated by using frequency analysis and displayed by tables. The impact of the PD program in each dimension was associated with the level of teacher participation rate in the PD program. This rate was calculated considering the total time of face to face and non face to face interactions for each teacher. The results yielded that, the PD program had positive effects on teachers’ classroom practices. The more participation to the PD program in each dimension the more positive change was observed in lesson applications of the teachers. All teachers positively changed due to delivery of the common topics after the PD program. A positive development was seen in the Physics-Technology-Society-Environment (PTSE), Information and Communication Skills (ICS), and Problem Solving Skills (PSS) objectives. Misconceptions were eliminated and cautions were paid more attention in the lessons after the PD program. When the results were examined in terms of the use of teaching strategies materials/technologies, and assessment techniques for different purposes, it was seen that there was an increase in number, variety, and quality usage in these dimensions.


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Citation Formats
Ö. Oktay, “The Effects of a professional development program on physics teachers’ classroom practices,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.