November 2016

“Challenges of Urban Teacher Professional Development”

Steven McGee, Ph.D – SESP, Northwestern University
Thursday, November 17th, 12:30-1:30pm, Annenberg 303

High quality professional development and support for professional communities are both powerful levers for supporting the transition to the Next Generation Science Standards. However, schools in urban settings face significant challenges in fully implementing all of the features of high quality professional development and professional learning communities due to small school sizes, high teacher turnover, and shifting leadership. In this presentation, McGee will describe two science professional development programs that have taken different approaches to addressing the challenges of urban professional development by fostering the development of science teacher leadership. First, the Early Elementary Science Partnership (E2SP) program is a 4-year professional development collaboration with The Field Museum, the Nature Museum, and the Big Shoulders fund to support pre k-3rd grade teachers’ transition to NGSS in ten Chicago Catholic schools. Second, the NU Leadership Academy for Science Improvement is an ongoing professional development collaboration with Network 11 in the Chicago Public Schools. In both programs, there are early indicators that the nature of social interactions among teacher is shifting along with shifts in teaching practices. McGee will discuss the implications of this work for how we develop and sustain long-term, place-based partnerships and use robust indicators that take advantage of the natural variation in implementation as evidence for theory building.

See full talk flyer here.