Teachers' Participation in Study Groups


In the third year of the Talk Science research (2011–2012), our sample of eleven teachers from Grade 5 met in study groups conducted in their respective school settings. The Talk Science program included a set of six study group meetings, starting at step 2 of the professional development pathway and ending at step 7 of the pathway. The study group meetings were designed to present teachers with opportunities to plan for their classroom teaching, and to reflect on and analyze their classroom practice and science discussions with respect to the web–based professional development resources provided to them.

Study group meetings were held in urban, suburban, and rural school settings. The suburban and rural study groups each included teachers from two schools. Further, the urban and suburban study groups had their schools’ science supervisors as designated moderators to facilitate their meetings. We provided all study groups with a study guide for each meeting, which suggested specific topics for discussion during the meeting, and an individual web–study of Talk Science professional development resources prior to the meeting. The study guide recommended generally that teachers share their observations of the resource content, and generate plans for incorporating what they learnt from the resources into their own classroom teaching.

We audio recorded teachers’ study group meetings, and transcribed the recordings subsequently. We collected audio recordings from the three study groups for the following steps of the Talk Science pathway:

  • Urban Study Group: Study Group Meetings for Pathway Steps 5 and 6
  • Rural Study Group: Study Group Meetings for Pathway Steps 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7
  • Suburban Study Group: Study Group Meetings for Pathway steps 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7