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The Penn Science Teacher Institute: A Proven Model

Abstract

"The University of Pennsylvania's Master of Chemistry Education (MCE) program graduated five cohorts of approximately twenty teachers between 2002 and 2006. One year after the teachers in the last cohort earned their degrees, the Penn Science Teacher Institute (Penn STI) initiated a follow-up study to ascertain if the goals of the MCE program had been sustained. For example, were the teachers incorporating updated content knowledge into their lessons and were their students learning more chemistry? A total of seventy-four of the eighty-two graduates participated in some aspect of this study. Because baseline data were not available for the MCE teachers and their students, baseline data from a comparable group of chemistry teachers enrolled in the first cohort of the Penn STI program and their students were used in some analyses. Among other findings, the data indicate that MCE met its goals: 1) to improve the chemistry content knowledge of its teacher participants; 2) to increase the use of research-based instruction in their classrooms; and, 3) to improve student achievement in chemistry (students of MCE graduates scored significantly higher than the comparison group)."

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