THE EFFECTS OF DEVELOPING REFORMED TEACHING MATERIALS ON THE PEDAGOGICAL BELIEFS OF GEOSCIENCE INSTRUCTORS
Research on professional development suggests that individual workshop experiences are insufficient to create a significant change in teaching practice. Effective professional development programs are characterized by intensive, long-term practice. A two-year cycle of collaborative development, piloting, assessment, and revision of reform-based teaching materials can provide the rigorous, supportive environment necessary to alter an instructor’s pedagogical beliefs. Eighteen instructors participating in the InTeGrate project were administered the Teacher Belief Interview (TBI) before and after developing, piloting, and revising a two-week introductory geoscience module. The TBI is a semi-structured interview consisting of seven questions aimed at qualifying different aspects of an instructor’s pedagogical beliefs. Participants spent between four and six semesters developing their materials. Coding and analyses of pre- and post-development interviews show a statistically significant improvement (p=0.009) toward more student-centered responses, with the greatest gains among participants with the lowest pre-development scores. Overall, these results suggest that participating in professional development opportunities employing collaboration, authentic exposure, and structured support can positively impact pedagogical beliefs.