Teaching the Genome Generation: Bringing Modern Human Genetics into the Classroom Through Teacher Professional Development.
ABSTRACT: Teaching the Genome Generation (TtGG) is a teacher professional development program and set of high school biology lessons that support interwoven classroom instruction of molecular genetics, bioinformatics, and bioethics. Participating teachers from across New England implement the modular elements of program at a high rate in a variety of biology classrooms. Evaluation data collected over three academic years (2014/15 to 2016/17) indicate that TtGG has increased teachers' abilities to integrate complex concepts of genomics and bioethics into their high school classes.
Project description:Objective: The Positivity and Rules program (PR program), a low-level behavioral teacher program targeting symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), has shown positive effects on teacher-rated ADHD symptoms and social functioning. This study aimed to assess whether program effects could be confirmed by instruments assessing classroom behavior other than teacher-ratings, given teachers' involvement with the training. Methods: Participants were 114 primary school children (age = 6-13) displaying ADHD symptoms in the classroom, who were randomly assigned to the treatment (n = 58) or control group (n = 65). ADHD symptoms were measured using classroom observations and actigraphy, and peer acceptance was measured using peer ratings. Intention-to-treat multilevel analyses were conducted to assess program effects. Results: No beneficial program effects were found for any of the measures. Conclusion: The earlier beneficial program effects on both ADHD symptoms and social functioning reported by teachers, may be explained by a change in the perception of teachers rather than changes in the child's behavior. Other methodological explanations are also discussed, such as differences between instruments in the sensitivity to program-related changes. The current study underlines the importance of using different measures of classroom behavior to study program effects. ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT02518711.
Project description:Schools remain among the most frequent providers of children's mental health services, particularly in low-income urban settings. Several decades of research have focused on training teachers to implement evidence-based interventions for minimizing disruptive behavior. Studies consistently demonstrate robust improvements in student behavior and learning; however, the impact on teachers' work-related stress or satisfaction is not well understood. Six urban, high-poverty elementary schools were randomly assigned to a school mental health services model (Links to Learning; L2L) for referred, disruptive students or to services and professional development as usual (SAU). Teachers (n = 71, K-4 general education teachers) in L2L schools participated in professional development and consultation in two universal and two targeted interventions to reduce disruptive behaviors and promote learning. Teachers (n = 65) in SAU schools participated in professional development as usual. Multiple regression models examined teacher reports of individual-level self-efficacy, classroom-level student functioning, and school-level organizational health as predictors of stress and satisfaction. Findings revealed no significant difference between conditions on teacher work-related stress or satisfaction. Organizational health was the strongest predictor of stress and satisfaction. Training on and implementation of evidence-based classroom interventions did not appear to significantly impact teachers' work-related stress or satisfaction. Instead, findings point to organizational climate and teacher connectedness as potential levers for change, supporting prior work on teacher stress and satisfaction in schools. The significance of targeting organizational factors may be particularly significant in urban school districts.
Project description:Recent years have witnessed the arrival of new methodological horizons in teacher training. Technological resources and mobile connections play a major role in these studies. At the same time, there is a focus on play to increase commitment and motivation. It is in this context that gamification and flipped-classroom strategies have arisen. This paper presents the results of a training program with future Primary Education teachers using gamification and flipped-classroom strategies and techniques. The aim was that teachers in training acquire competences in proposing innovative teaching units. The learning achieved through the program was evaluated by collecting perceptions via a questionnaire and using an observation scale of the didactic units designed. The program was implemented in four classroom groups (N = 210) at the University of Murcia (Spain). Descriptive statistics are shown; mean tests (t of Student and ANOVA of one factor); non-parametric tests (U-Mann Whitney test); and Pearson correlations between subscales. The data show a very positive assessment of the learning achieved and the strategies applied in the training program. The learning outcomes were satisfactory, although lower than perceived. Some differences between class groups and gender are discussed, and some weaknesses of the program are pointed out.
Project description:A tuition-free teacher candidate is an undergraduate who receives tuition-free teacher education and must work as a teacher in a middle school after their graduation. Tuition-free candidates are of the focus of many researchers; however, no study reports how tuition-free teacher candidates think about teachers. The present study explored stereotypes about middle school and university teachers held by teacher candidates. Specifically, we looked for the differences between the stereotypes held by the teacher candidates and general undergraduates. This study attempted to provide a potential tool to predict the actual willingness of teacher candidates to work as middle school teachers. University and middle school teachers were evaluated using descriptive phrases or words on a five-point Likert scale by 116 tuition-free teacher candidates and 155 general undergraduates. Exploratory factor analyses revealed a three-factor stereotype model including occupational cognition, occupational personality, and occupational emotion. Compared with general undergraduates, teacher candidates held more positive occupational personality and emotions toward middle school teachers; they held more negative occupational emotions toward university teachers. Further, the undergraduates' willingness to be middle school teachers positively correlated with positive occupational emotions and negatively correlated with negative occupational personality and emotions toward middle school teachers. This supported previous studies that individuals' professional willingness were influenced by their stereotypes about professions.
Project description:Social network analysis can draw upon surveys and discussions to generate quantitative and qualitative data. We describe network data generated via a social network survey and discussion activity with high school science teachers in a teacher leadership development program. Data include social network maps related to seeking expertise in teaching content and/or pedagogy, disaggregated by contacts at the school, district, state, nation, and international spheres of influence. Data also include transcripts of the activity and teacher discussions of networks in their own educational settings. This data article is related to the research article, "The use of visual network scales in teacher leader development" Polizzi et al., 2019, where data interpretation can be found.
Project description:The physical activity levels of children in Australia are critically low and correlate with reduced academic achievement and poor health outcomes. Schools provide an ideal setting for physical activity interventions to help children move more. Instead of targeting in-service teachers, this study embedded an evidence-based active pedagogy program called Transform-Ed! into pre-service teacher education. Pre/post surveys and post-program interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with key stakeholders (n = 5), lecturers (n = 6), and pre-service teachers (n = 274) involved with the 12-week program. The design, implementation, and evaluation of the study were systematically guided by all five dimensions of Glasgow and colleagues' RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) framework. Linear mixed models, descriptive analysis and a framework approach were used to analyse the data. Significant improvements were observed in pre-service teachers' willingness, confidence, and competence to implement physically active pedagogic strategies following the intervention. Pre-service teacher perceived effectiveness of such strategies on student outcomes also significantly increased and perceived barriers decreased. High adherence was consistently reported and the program was maintained after completion of the implementation trial by all lecturers. Four key themes spanning multiple dimensions and participant levels informed recommendations for program scalability: an "inter-systemic approach", a "co-design" approach, "embedded in professional practice", and "evidence of impact" on teacher practice. Anchored in real-world settings and tethered by implementation science, Transform-Ed! could have the potential to advance the teaching capability of teachers, and transform the learning experience and physical and academic outcomes of primary school students.
Project description:Background:This study investigated the relationship between verbal aggression against school teachers and upper extremity (neck, shoulder, upper limb, and/or upper back) musculoskeletal pain. Methods:This was a cross-sectional study of 525 elementary school teachers from Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Northeast Brazil. Results:The prevalence of upper extremity musculoskeletal pain among teachers who reported verbal aggression in the past six months (67.7%) was higher than that among those who did not report verbal aggression (51.7%): (prevalence ratio = 1.21; 95% confidence interval = 1.04-1.40). The prevalence of upper extremity musculoskeletal pain was associated with verbal aggression, sex, and common mental disorders, controlled by skin color, age, monthly income, teachers' education, years working as a teacher, workload, and obesity. Furthermore, the measure of the association between verbal aggression and upper extremity musculoskeletal pain was modified by sex and common mental disorders, considered altogether. Teachers who suffered verbal aggression, of the feminine sex, and also having common mental disorders reported high prevalence (85.4%) of upper extremity musculoskeletal pain. Conclusion:The association between verbal violence in the school and complaints of upper extremity musculoskeletal pain was strong and modified by teachers' sex and common mental disorders.
Project description:Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and thus represents a priority for national public health programs. Prevention has been assumed as the best strategy to reduce cancer burden, however most cancer prevention programs are implemented by healthcare professionals, which constrain range and educational impacts. We developed an innovative approach for cancer prevention education focused on high-school biology teachers, considered privileged mediators in the socialization processes. A training program, "Cancer, Educate to Prevent" was applied, so that the teachers were able to independently develop and implement prevention campaigns focused on students and school-related communities. The program encompassed different educational modules, ranging from cancer biology to prevention campaigns design. Fifty-four teachers were empowered to develop and implement their own cancer prevention campaigns in a population up to five thousands students. The success of the training program was assessed through quantitative evaluation--questionnaires focused on teachers' cancer knowledge and perceptions, before the intervention (pre-test) and immediately after (post-test). The projects developed and implemented by teachers were also evaluated regarding the intervention design, educational contents and impact on the students' knowledge about cancer. This study presents and discusses the results concerning the training program "Cancer, Educate to Prevent" and clearly shows a significant increase in teacher's cancer literacy (knowledge and perceptions) and teachers' acquired proficiency to develop and deliver cancer prevention campaigns with direct impact on students' knowledge about cancer. This pilot study reinforces the potential of high-school teachers and schools as cancer prevention promoters and opens a new perspective for the development and validation of cancer prevention education strategies, based upon focused interventions in restricted targets (students) through non-health professionals (teachers).
Project description:In this study, we conducted a model of teacher professional development (PD) on the alignment of middle and high school curricula and instruction to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSSs), and evaluated the impact of the PD on teacher participants' development. The PD model included a 4-day summer academy emphasizing project-based learning (PBL) in the designing of NGSS-aligned curricula and instruction, as well as monthly follow-up Professional Learning Community meetings throughout the year providing numerous opportunities for teachers to develop and implement lesson plans, share results of lesson writing and implementation (successes and challenges), provide mutual feedback, and refine curricula and assessments. Following the summer academy, six female teachers were interviewed about their current conceptualizations of NGSS, the extent of curricular shifts made that are required by NGSS, their self-perceptions regarding their level of accomplishment in curriculum writing, and the benefits of the PD in reaching their goals related to NGSS. Interviews were supplemented with an analysis of lesson plans written while participating in the PD program. The interviewed teachers suggested that they had made important conceptual and pedagogical shifts required by NGSS as they participated in the PD, and also noted a variety of challenges as they made this shift. While all teachers were relative novices at NGSS curriculum writing before the PD, most of the teachers interviewed felt that they had achieved the status of an "accomplished novice" following the summer academy. An analysis of their written lessons suggested a great range in the extent to which teachers effectively applied their understanding of NGSS to write lessons aligned to NGSS. Interviewed teachers believed that the PD model was helpful to their development as science teachers, and all reported that there were no aspects of the PD that were not helpful. Even though most teachers obtained a basic understanding and conceptualization of NGSS and PBL, their application of this understanding in their curriculum writing varied. The present study may help to inform future efforts to support teachers to align curricula and instruction to NGSS through teacher PD.
Project description:Based on an adjusted Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) model that considers the mediation of personal resources, this study examined the relationships between two characteristics of teachers' work environment (i.e., emotional job demands and trust in colleagues) and two indicators of teachers' well-being (i.e., teaching satisfaction and emotional exhaustion). In particular, the study focused on how emotion regulation strategies (i.e., reappraisal and suppression) mediate these relationships. Data collected from a questionnaire survey of 1115 primary school teachers in Hong Kong was analyzed to test the hypothesized relationships. The results of structural equation modeling indicated that: (1) the emotional job demands of teaching were detrimental to teacher well-being, whereas trust in colleagues was beneficial; (2) both emotion regulation strategies mediated the relationships between both emotional job demands and trust in colleagues and teacher well-being; and (3) teachers who tend to use more reappraisal may be psychologically healthier than those tend to adopt more suppression. These findings support the applicability of the JD-R model to school settings and highlight the role of teachers' emotion regulation in teachers' well-being. Implications for the improvement of school environments and teachers' well-being are identified.