Washington Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) Program Evaluation
The Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) initiative launched by the National Science Resource Center has an overarching goal of providing a sustainable inquiry-based model for science education reform. This evaluation examined the achievements and the challenges of LASER and then used it to recommend future actions in order to make the program more effective.
Levels of teacher participation in professional development programs showed to be a small but significant predictor of student achievement. In schools with teachers that went through the professional development training, 94% of the teachers reported to have used the science modules but only 6% reported using the science modules exactly as prescribed. Most teachers reported using about 85% of the science modules available. The use of inquiry-based science modules was correlated with significant improvement from pre-assessment to post-assessment in the students' achievements in all seven modules.
The relationship between the science professional development of the teacher and level of student achievement were found to be inconclusive and the correlation was not found to be significant. Professional development providers were also found to be much more willing to assist teachers with pedagogy than to train teachers on specific modules.
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