Planned research studies will investigate variations in existing professional development (PD) experiences in rural and non-rural settings; the potential influence of PD characteristics on rural teachers' knowledge/perceptions/practices; and the differential effects of various PD approaches on teachers’ reading and science instructional knowledge and practice and student outcomes.
Definition of rural: from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES, 2007):
Fringe (i.e., 5 or fewer miles from an urbanized area),
Distant (i.e., more than five miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area), or
Remote (i.e., 25 miles from an urbanized area and also more than 10 miles from an urban center).
All teachers will be from Nebraska schools in rural settings (as defined above) and will be involved in training, coaching, and practicing newly acquired research-based methods in their classrooms.
Various forms of technology will be used to determine the best way to increase access and availability of supports for teachers in rural settings as they implement newly acquired strategies in their classrooms.