Journal of Research in Science Teaching
This study explored the professional responsibilities of district science coordinators, their professional development (PD) experiences, the relationship between their role, responsibilities, district context, and background, and barriers encountered in their work. A national sample (n = 122) of self‐identified science coordinators completed a Science Coordinator Role Survey. Participants’ responses were analyzed using descriptive and correlational statistics. Following analysis of survey data, 16 participants (13.1%) were purposefully selected for semi‐structured follow‐up interviews. Results indicated the majority of respondents identified themselves as Caucasian, female, and had served in their position for less than 10 years. The typical science coordinator held a degree in a science content area and was a former science teacher. Respondents without science degrees tended to hold positions at small, remote, or rural school districts with responsibilities in multiple content areas. Participants also reported barriers of not having enough PD opportunities, lack of time, lack of emphasis on science instruction, and a lack of power to enforce policies within a district. Results characterize the professional responsibilities of coordinators, provide insight into the role of a science coordinator, and into how to create targeted PD for coordinators.
Whitworth, B.A., Maeng, J.L., Wheeler, L.B. and Chiu, J.L. (2017), Investigating the role of a district science coordinator. J Res Sci Teach, 54: 914-936. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.21391