This grounded in social constructivism yearlong ethnographic case study was conducted at the final stage of a larger, longitudinal, multisite, and multi-year project. The current research focused on a group of urban public elementary schoolteachers who volunteered to participate in the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded interdisciplinary science and engineering partnership (ISEP) project. These teachers were enrolled in the professional development (PD) college courses in physics and engineering design, summer research in university laboratories, and interdisciplinary science inquiry (ISI) pedagogy sessions. This research sought to understand the factors which contributed to successful teamwork at the elementary school under investigation. Additionally, this study investigated the changes in the ISEP-participating educators’ teaching approaches, methods, and techniques upon their completion of their studies with the ISEP Summer Institute. Data were collected from the structured interviews with the participating teachers and their students and observations of the school-based activities during in-class and extra-curricular instruction. The researchers used Saldaña’s (2013) thematic and value coding and Miles and Huberman (1984) memoing for data analysis. This research found that the teachers’ team embedded their newly acquired research experiences and pedagogic knowledge into their instruction. Joint endeavors of the project participants lead to higher interest and engagement in learning processes in this school’s student population as well as greater involvement of the schoolchildren, their families, and the surrounding community in the team-organized science-based educational events and activities.


ethnographic case study, interdisciplinary science and engineering partnership (ISEP), interdisciplinary science inquiry (ISI), professional development (PD), professional learning community (PLC), science teaching

Author Bio(s)

Olga Gould-Yakovleva, Ph.D., SUNY, UB Alumna; is an Assistant Professor at the Curriculum & Instruction Department, ENMU, USA. Please direct correspondence to olgagoul@buffalo.edu

Xiufeng Liu, Ph.D., is Director of Center for Educational Innovation and Professor at the Learning & Instruction Department, SUNY, UB, USA.


The authors are willing to acknowledge: Shaohui Chi, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar at the Learning & Instruction Department, SUNY, UB, USA and Yang Yang, Ph.D., Learning and Instruction Department Alumnus, SUNY, UB, USA.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.






Scopus Author ID: 57215419976



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