Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Modeling Instruction in High School Science: The Role of School Leadership
by Thomas, Michael E., Ed.D., Chicago State University, 2018, 183; 10684823
Abstract (Summary)

Science education has undergone multiple reforms over the years, yet each reform continues to produce little change in student success. The latest reform of the standards—Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—look to change that trend by focusing on what students can do, rather than just what they know. Modeling Instruction (MI) is one research-based pedagogy that is in alignment with the NGSS concepts of student-led classroom instruction. This proven strategy has been used across the U.S., but often in isolation, rather than as the routine classroom instruction throughout a school’s science department.

Changes in new teaching methods, such as those needed to implement MI or NGSS, are not easy for schools to make. They require entire organizations to shift their beliefs in how education appears, with students actively working and presenting content, while the teacher walks to the students, facilitating and asking questions. Leadership within the school can help this transition take place, by providing structures and processes that support others attempting to make changes in their practice. Effective leaders not only provide a plan, but they also create a supportive climate in which goals can be achieved.

This qualitative case study looked at the leadership of schools that have implemented MI across the science curriculum, which includes Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Characteristics of the leaders, such as leadership style and structures, provided information on how to make a successful change in instruction. Data was collected via interviews with school leaders and school faculty, and observations taken at the school. This data was then coded to identify common themes and trends.

Results of this research showed that leadership played an important role in the implementation of MI in secondary science classrooms. Key attributes were provided by school leadership to help with the implementation. Professional development provided the staff with the tools needed to learn the techniques of the new methods. Time for collaboration was also given, which allowed the staff to help each other with any problems that had arisen along the way. Finally, support was given by the leadership when teaching staff had problems with their implementation. These characteristics allowed for the change from traditional instruction to MI at two high schools, while minimizing problems and creating an atmosphere, which inspired creativity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Seo, Byung-In
Commitee: Carroll, Margaret, Grim Hunter, Nancy, Laura, Crystal
School: Chicago State University
Department: Doctoral Studies
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 79/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Education, Secondary education, Science education
Keywords: Administration, Curriculum, Implementation, Leadership, Modeling instruction, Science
Publication Number: 10684823
ISBN: 978-0-438-08191-8
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