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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