Date of Award

August 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Education

First Advisor

Barbara Bales

Committee Members

Craig Berg, Elizabeth Drame, David Petering, Bo Zhang


Conceptual Change Model, Culturally Responsive Practices, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Professional Development, Science Education, Secondary Education


Educational reform efforts to improve students' learning outcomes are often present in teacher professional development opportunities; however, the structure and design of these opportunities vary and often focus on a homogenous student population; that is, White students in suburban schools. Reform efforts in teacher professional development that aim to educate teachers not only about science content and pedagogy, but also about practices that aim to reach a diverse student population is needed. This study examines three, science teacher summer professional development (PD) programs [SUN, SEPA, and CLA], and explores how programs affect teacher learning outcome(s) and any subsequent translation into classroom practice(s). The design and delivery, alignment to Ladson-Billings (1994) tenets of culturally responsive practices, and measurement(s) of teachers' learning outcome(s) are evaluated. Fliers were sent to science teachers who participated in SUN, SEPA, and CLA in an effort to recruit volunteers for this study. Program document analysis and teacher post-survey data from each program, focus groups, evidence of program integration, and a culturally responsive practice survey were collected and analyzed. Results show SEPA to include content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), culturally responsive practices (CRP), and some elements of the conceptual change model (CCM) (Larkin, 2012) in program design, structure, and delivery along with translation into classroom practice. SUN and CLA both show incorporation of CK and PCK, with SUN also showing some evidence of CRP. The findings indicate that when teachers are modeled a practice they are able to translate that practice in their classroom. The potential impact of modeling CRP during science teacher PD may address the achievement gap still present among students of color. Program designers must consider the inclusion of CRP alongside CK and PCK during the development of science teacher PD.