Collaborative professional development in chemistry education research: Bridging the gap between research and practice

Gabriela Szteinberg, Scott Balicki, Gregory Banks, Michael Clinchot, Steven Cullipher, Robert Huie, Jennifer Lambertz, Rebecca Lewis, Courtney Ngai, Melissa Weinrich, Vicente Talanquer, Hannah Sevian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Professional development that bridges gaps between educational research and practice is needed. However, bridging gaps can be difficult because teachers and educational researchers often belong to different Communities of Practice, as their activities, goals, and means of achieving those goals often differ. Meaningful collaboration among teachers and educational researchers can create a merged Community of Practice in which both teachers and educational researchers mutually benefit. A collaboration of this type is described that centered on investigating students' abilities to apply chemical thinking when engaged in authentic tasks. We describe the design-based principles behind the collaboration, the work of the collaborative team, and a self-evaluation of results interpreted through a Communities-of-Practice perspective, with primary focus on the teachers' perceptions. Analysis revealed ways in which teachers' assessments shifted toward more research-based practice and ways in which teachers navigated the research process. Implications for affordances and constraints of such collaborations among teachers and educational researchers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1408
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 9 2014


  • Chemical Education Research
  • Elementary/Middle School Science
  • High School/Introductory Chemistry
  • Learning Theories
  • Professional Development
  • Public Understanding/Outreach
  • Testing/Assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education


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