KSTF research draws from and contributes to what is known about effectively supporting high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educators. We focus on how STEM teachers learn over time to develop a professional community, continually enhance their practice, positively impact their students’ learning, and become teacher leaders.
Practitioner Inquiry Studies
WHAT WE DO
The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation supports collaborative studies of practice by KSTF teaching fellows, senior fellows and staff. These studies deepen our understanding of practitioner inquiry, its influence on teacher and student learning, and the impact on teacher leadership and professional identity. To that end, KSTF:
- Provides resources that support practitioner inquiry (such as research groups, coaching and writing support), and
- Advocates for enhanced visibility of practitioner inquiry in teacher professional development, educational research and policy decisions.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
Public school teachers in the U.S. educational system have long struggled to claim the professional status that independent professions (such as doctors and lawyers) assert*. Consequently, they also lack authority to generate knowledge and monitor the quality of their work. Practitioner inquiry studies make an important contribution toward strengthening teaching as a profession and influencing national debates on teacher quality.
*Adler, Kwon, & Heckscher, 2008
The KSTF community explores compelling questions about how we can learn to teach in more equitable ways and get high school students excited about what math and science can really do. Our utlimate goal is to help develop STEM-literate citizens.
Jodie A. Galosy,
Director for Research and Evaluation,
Knowles Science Teaching Foundation
KSTF’s evaluation efforts respond to the needs and challenges of the organization through ongoing assessment and feedback into program development and improvement.
We use a variety of methods including surveys and interviews to help the Teaching Fellowship and Senior Fellow Programs assess their effectiveness. We also work with external evaluators for an “outside” perspective on our work. These evaluators connect us with a wider range of issues, methods, and practices to enhance our evaluation efforts. They also provide formative feedback, summative evaluation of KSTF’s influence and impact, and documentation of KSTF’s work for internal and external audiences.