A series of rigorous research studies have been conducted on the MSS approach to teacher learning. Study findings offer compelling evidence that this approach strengthens teachers’ content knowledge, transforms classroom practice, and boosts student achievement — especially for low-performing students, English learners, and students with poor literacy skills — showing that MSS courses help close the student achievement gap.
This summary document provides an overview of findings from several studies.
Making Gains in Science: From Teacher Learning to Student Success
This article, published 2017 in WestEd's R&D Alert highlights the ripple effect of Making Sense of SCIENCE professional learning on teachers, classrooms, and students at the middle level.
Supporting Growth of Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Science
This chapter was included in Re-examining Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Science, published in 2015 as part of Routledge Press's Teaching and Learning In Science series.
Differential Effects of Three Professional Development Models on Teacher Knowledge and Student Achievement in Elementary Science
This article, published in 2012 in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, examines the links among professional development, teacher knowledge, practice, and student achievement.
Using a Pedagogical Content Framework to Determine the Content of Case-Based Teacher Professional Development in Science
This paper, presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching in Spring 2003, provides an overview of the Making Sense of SCIENCE approach to developing teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and the characteristics of that approach.
Connecting all the Pieces
This article, published in the Fall of 2003 in the Journal of Staff Development, describes the evaluation approach used by the Making Sense of SCIENCE project to document the effects of the professional development program on teachers' classroom practices and students.
Learning Science for Teaching (LSFT)
The Learning Science for Teaching study was an intensive, randomized control experiment that looked at the effects of three promising professional development models and the effects they had on teachers and classrooms.
Exploring Energy & Matter Collaborative (E²MC)
The Exploring Energy and Matter Collaborative (E²MC) was a professional learning program for middle and high school students in select Arizona districts. The program paired the Making Sense of SCIENCE: Energy and Making Sense of SCIENCE: Matter Teacher Courses with additional supports around incorporating science and engineering practices in the classroom.