Exploring urban science teachers' beliefs, perceptions and implementation of Common Core State Standards for ELA within the context of interdisciplinary science inquiry: A mixed methods study
Eades-Baird, Michelle R.
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The purpose of this study was to explore science teacher beliefs, perceptions and practices surrounding the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA within the context of their Interdisciplinary Science Inquiry (ISI) - based instruction. It was situated within a project called the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Science Partnership (EISP-pseudonym), an NSF-funded teacher professional development program between 12 public schools and 2 public universities in the North Eastern United States. This study utilized a mixed-methods research design to investigate the following research questions: (1) how do science teachers demonstrate knowledge and values of CCSS for ELA curricula when they conduct ISI? and (2) what relationship, if any, exists between teacher beliefs and perceptions of the CCSS for ELA and its implementation in the science classroom? The data sources from this study included three years of teacher interviews, classroom observations, teacher and student artifacts and survey data. The results from this multiple case study demonstrate that (1) science teachers' beliefs related to science teaching have the greatest influence on their implementation of the CCSS for ELA; (2) teachers who approach science teaching using constructivist and reform-based methodologies meet more of the CCSS for ELA student portraits and do so in different ways than their colleagues; and (3) addressing implementation support during professional development is critical to the successful implementation of the CCSS for ELA and ISI/inquiry-based teaching practices. The findings of this study have implications for all stakeholders involved in educational reforms and in-service science teacher professional development.