PEEPs for PD: Identifying Project Evaluation Effectiveness Principles for Professional Development in Elementary Science Teaching

Sponsor: National Science Foundation; NSF PRIME Award No. 1228809
Dates: Sept. 25, 2012, to Aug. 31, 2014

This exploratory project is designed to identify and describe evaluations of Professional Development in Science Teaching interventions with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of science instruction in elementary school classrooms. The project:

  • Identified and described evaluations of PDST interventions.
  • Developed mechanisms and examples for systematically reviewing, meta-evaluation, and aggregating results of these evaluations.

The focus was on establishing a credible base of appropriate professional development STEM evaluation reviews, developing meta-evaluation techniques and identifying the most appropriate strategies for determine the cumulative effectiveness of PDST programs. In order to increase the capacity of professional evaluators in STEM education to conduct rigorous and useful evaluations, the project disseminated project findings to education researchers and evaluators, sponsors and developers of PDST interventions through research presentations, papers and reports to the extent feasible. Dissemination products communicated:

  • Methods for identifying and retrieving PDST evaluations, as well as their limitations.
  • Characteristics of accessible PDST evaluations.
  • Research designs and methodologies used in PDST evaluations.
  • Suitable methods for assessing the performance of available evaluation documents against evaluation standards and frameworks.
  • Suitable methods for assessing the performance and impacts of PDST intervention.

WMU project team

  • Daniela Schroeter, principal investigator
  • Lori Wingate, co-principal investigator
  • Chris Coryn, co-principal investigator
  • Stephanie Means, project manager
  • Robert McCowen, doctoral associate in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in evaluation program

Project partners

  • University of California, Berkley
  • The Lawrence Hall of Science Research Group
  • Juna Snow, principal investigator
  • Ardice Hartry, co-principal investigator
  • Rena Dorph, co-principal investigator
  • Valeria Romero, research associate

Advisory board members

  • Christina Christie, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Leslie Cooksy, Sierra Health Foundation
  • Leslie Goodyear, Education Development Center Inc.
  • Jennifer Greene, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Thomas Guskey, University of Kentucky
  • Kathy DiRanna, WestEd
  • Michael Scriven, Claremont Graduate University
  • Joellen Killion, Learning Forward
  • Daniel Stufflebeam, Western Michigan University
  • Don Yarbrough, University of Iowa

External evaluator

  • Michael Quinn Patton, independent evaluation consultant