Teacher Professional Development in Mathematics and Science: A Blended Learning Approach

Margaret Sinclair, Ron Owston

Abstract


Blended learning is a promis- ing model for supporting teacher professional development that combines the advantages of tradi- tional face-to-face interaction with the flexibility of online learning. In this study, we examine the impact of two one-year blended learning programs on teachers’ attitudes, knowledge, and classroom practices. These professional development programs were designed to enhance middle school teachers’ subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skills in mathematics and science/ technology. Our results indicate that the programs positively affected teacher attitudes and content knowledge in these curricular areas and motivated many teachers to transform their classroom practices. Increased teacher collaboration and involvement at the school level sug- gest that the experiences contrib- uted to the emergence of fledgling communities of practice. At the same time, the lack of cohesion in online groups and the drop off in participation suggest the need to rethink some aspects of the design of blended learning environments.


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