The success of science education reform initiatives depends considerably on the teachers. Effective professional development opportunities have been shown to encourage and support teachers in their adoption of inquiry-based teaching practices. In particular, it has been argued that an effective means for science teachers to learn about science inquiry is through contextual learning experiences, which allow teachers to be immersed in the culture of science. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore professional development participants’ individual and collective experiences, thoughts, reflections and evolving beliefs, attitudes and knowledge within the context of a two-week summer research apprenticeship program for secondary science teachers. Four profiles of teachers emerged based on their type and level of involvement in the science laboratory in which they were placed. The findings allude to changes in participants’ attitudes and sense of self-confidence toward science as well as their knowledge about science inquiry as a process and as an approach to teaching. We will also discuss how participants planned to implement their learning experiences in their classrooms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes