Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies

Major Advisor

Keith W. Thiede, Ph.D.

Major Advisor

Michele Carney, Ph.D.


Joe Champion, Ph.D.


J. Eian Harm, Ed.D.


This study investigated the impact of a comprehensive professional development project focused on inquiry-based integrated lessons to improve the quality of science instruction for elementary teachers. Eleven teachers from three Northwest school districts participated in this quasi-experimental design study. A focus of the study was to investigate the intricate relationship between four components of a professional development model: the professional development intervention, teacher practice, student outcomes, and teachers’ self-efficacy for science instruction. Five different measures were used both before and after the intervention: The Local Systemic Change Observation Protocol, a content knowledge assessment, a self-efficacy survey, a student content test, and a student science attitude survey. In an effort to triangulate data, a reflective digital journal was kept by each teacher throughout the project. Results indicate that teachers involved in the professional development intervention experienced statistically significant growth in lesson quality and self-efficacy for teaching science, thus impacting their practice and their students.