Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Student performance in science classrooms has continued to falter throughout the United States. Even though proficiency rates on national tests such as National Assessment of Educational Progress are higher for Caucasian students than African Americans and Hispanics, all groups lack achieving desired proficiency rates. Therefore, much work is needed in our classrooms to achieve the new more rigorous performance expectations found in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This five year professional development study sought to link the involvement of teachers in a sustained intervention, designed to improve the quantity and quality of guided inquiry-based instruction in middle school science classrooms, to student academic growth. Specifically we wanted to see if we could link higher quality inquiry-based instruction with the narrowing of the achievement gap between student groups. Findings show statistically significant gains for all student groups (aggregate, males, females, Caucasians, African Americans, and Hispanics) on all three science MAP tests (composite, science practices, science concepts) when compared to students of non-participating teachers.