Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Maria M. Ferreira


This case study investigated how context variables influenced the impact of a state-funded longitudinal professional development (PD) program on the participant teachers' practice. Data was collected to compare differences in Science Content Knowledge, Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge, and the teachers' practice over the course of the PD program. Contextual variables related to district restructuring and school implementation of district policy evidence a direct effect on time spent on science instruction, specific instructional strategies used, and on the development of a professional community among the participants. This case study substantiates the implication that districts and school policies must provide adequate support for teachers to implement what is learned in professional development to enact any effective science education reform at the elementary school level.