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Online professional development boosts teachers' confidence, knowledge

June 21, 2018

(Madison, Wis.) June 21, 2018--Multiple factors go into making an effective professional development (PD) program for K-12 teachers. Focusing on content, active learning, collaboration and coaching support and using models of effective teaching can broaden the knowledge of science teachers. However, many teachers are short on the resources needed to attend one-time short-term PD programs. Additionally, there is little data on the effect of national PD programs on student achievement. The results of one online PD program for teachers will be shared today as part of American Physiological Society's (APS's) Institute on Teaching and Learning in Madison, Wis.

APS analyzed the impact of its 10-month online Six Star Science Online Teacher Professional Development Program. The program focused on boosting confidence, knowledge and actual use in multiple areas, such as STEM career education, scientific content, equity and diversity in the classroom, and reflection on teaching and learning.

Participants reported an increase in confidence and felt more prepared to teach in many of the STEM-related topics covered during the program, including teaching about biomedical career options and understanding the differences between basic and clinical research. In addition, the course enrollees reported that "they reflected on their teaching and participated in online teacher communities of practice more often," APS researchers wrote.

Margaret Steiben, program manager for K-12 education programs at APS, will present "Professional development increases teacher knowledge, confidence and use of effective pedagogy" in a poster session on Thursday, June 21, at the Madison Concourse Hotel.
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NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The third Institute on Teaching and Learning will be held June 18-22 in Madison, Wis. To schedule an interview with the conference organizers or presenters, contact the communications@the-aps.org APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

American Physiological Society

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