Can taking part in summer research programs that require hands-on lab or field work help make science teachers more effective? Yes, it can. That’s the conclusion of a Columbia University study, according to eSchool News. The Columbia study compared sets of New York science teachers: participants in the university’s Summer Research Program and nonparticipants.
The program requires teachers to work on focused, intensive and hands-on scientific research. Teachers who participated produced a 10 percent increase in the pass rate of their students in New York state science Regents tests, according to Sam C. Silverstein, who founded the Columbia program. Moreover, participating teachers showed a three- to fourfold increase in retention versus the national average for experienced science teachers. Critics note that participating teachers may be so highly motivated that they’re likely to be more effective teachers. But Silverstein says that in the year before the study, students of all of the teachers — those who would subsequently participate in the program and those who would not — had similar pass rates.
Filed under: K-12 Education News