A study of elementary teachers' perceptions of mathematics and science training and implementation on a state mandated initiative

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study investigated 89 K-5 elementary teachers' perceptions of mathematics and science training , implementation, and practices in a state- mandated professional development initiative for classroom teachers, the Alabama Mathematics , Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI), and its impact in their classrooms as a result of participating in the Year 2 AMSTI Summer Institute. The AMSTI program was developed by the Alabama State Department of Education to engage teachers in reform in mathematics and science education. Reform occurs through professional development, providing the required materials, and on-site support for participants. Data sources included the AMSTI Mathematics Questionnaire, AMSTI Science Questionnaire, open-ended questions administered to 89 participants, and 6 focus group interviews. Mixed Factorial ANOVA tests were used to determine the effect of grade level and the subject (mathematics and science). Results indicated significant effects for science training in Grades 2, 3, and 5 and significant effects for science implementation in grades 3 and 5. Overall, the teachers in this study had more favorable perceptions of the science training than the mathematics training. The science training and materials provided made it easier to implement the AMSTI training. Time was a determining factor for implementation and teachers were unable to implement as much of their training as was expected of them. Teachers in Grades 4-5 reported testing acted as barrier to teaching science when it was close to testing time. At all grade levels, teachers reported being exposed to more ways of teaching in mathematics and science. They noted the convenience of having all materials. They included more hands-on learning and more communication during mathematics and science classes. As a result of AMSTI training, teachers appeared to exhibit the instructional practices recommended by national professional organizations and standards.

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Elementary education