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Professional Development for Teachers on Gender Equity in the Sciences: Initiating the Conversation


by Daniel Battey, Yasmin Kafai, Althea Scott Nixon & Linda L. Kao 2007

We face more subtle and complex issues in gender equity in the sciences than ever before. Although researchers have proposed various interventions and solutions, one area that has received little attention is professional development for teachers. We synthesized 170 projects, sponsored by NSF and AAUW, which included professional development on gender equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We examined the projects on three effects: 1) student engagement in inquiry; 2) sustainability over the long-term; and 3) integration of professional development and the classroom. Our results indicate that most gender equity professional development in STEM lacks essential elements to effectively promote and implement gender equity in the classroom. Half of the projects did not address science and mathematics content and 84 percent did not include inquiry, an integral component of quality professional development. We discuss implications given the current state of gender equity in the sciences.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 109 Number 1, 2007, p. 221-243
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12741, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 6:50:49 AM

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About the Author
  • Daniel Battey
    Arizona State University
    E-mail Author
    DANIEL BATTEY is an Assistant Professor in Mathematics Education at Arizona State University. He specializes in professional development and equity issues in mathematics education. His work centers on engaging teachers in opportunities to learn within and from their practice in a way that sustains and generates change. Dr. Battey has just finished working on two chapters for the Handbook of Research on Teaching and Learning Mathematics, one on equity issues and one on classroom practices. In addition to his publications, he has designed and run professional development across California, Arizona, and Illinois in Cognitively Guided Instruction and helping teachers move students from arithmetic to algebraic thinking.
  • Yasmin Kafai
    UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
    E-mail Author
    YASMIN KAFAI is an Associate Professor of Learning and Instruction at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Her research focuses on the development and implementation of technology-rich learning environments in mathematics and science in both schools and informal settings.
  • Althea Nixon
    UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
    E-mail Author
    ALTHEA SCOTT NIXON is a Ph.D. candidate at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. She researches the ways children and adolescents use computer technologies in academic enrichment programs as a means for developing a critical understanding of their social worlds and identities as students.
  • Linda Kao
    UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
    E-mail Author
    LINDA L. KAO is a doctoral student in Psychological Studies in Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include professional development, the uses of technology in the classroom, and educational policy.
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