Targeted Professional Development Programs in Science Education and Teachers' Perception of the Programs' Impact
The purpose of this study was to investigate the teachers' experience of the professional development program "Engaging Students in Learning about the Earth's Climate" offered by University of California San Diego Extension. It is a program that addresses the controversial issue of global climate change. I aimed to understand how the program was experienced by the participants (elementary- and middle school teachers) and how it impacted their commitment to cover climate change in their classrooms. The study also investigated how this particular program may have changed the teachers' classroom practice. Based on theory and prior research, I summarized characteristics of impactful professional development programs. Although the workshop did not respond to every single element for impactful professional development, my results revealed that overall it increased the participants engagement to teach about global climate change.