Implementing and sustaining science curriculum reform: A study of leadership practices among teachers within a high school science department

Authors

  • Douglas B. Larkin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 225 North Mills Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706
    • Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 225 North Mills Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.
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  • Scott C. Seyforth,

    1. Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Holly J. Lasky

    1. Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
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Abstract

This study presents a description and analysis of a ninth-grade integrated science curriculum developed and implemented by teachers within a high school science department and subsequently sustained for over 25 years. The Integrated Science Program (ISP) at Lakeside Southwest High School depicted here offers a unique example of longitudinal science education reform. In this study, we examined ISP as an artifact of teacher leadership. Findings affirmed the importance of shared philosophical purpose among teachers, attention to public perceptions, staff stability, the distribution of responsibilities, and instructional coherence. This study also demonstrated how curricular reforms might change over time in response to contextual pressures as was the case with the equity challenges faced by the current teachers of ISP. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 813–835, 2009

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