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Best Practices in Professional Development for the 21st Century

This powerful new book is brain food for all those who care deeply about science and students—including teachers, science educators, curriculum specialists, and policy makers. The collection of 21 provocative essays gives you a fresh look at today’s most pressing public policy concerns in science education, from how students learn science to building science partnerships to the ramifications of the No Child Left Behind legislation. The editors capture the latest research, trends, and best practices that science teachers and science leaders can use, organized around five themes:

1. Science of Learning Science explores up-to-date thinking on the methods, procedures, and reasoning processes students use to accumulate knowledge of the natural world.

2. Leadership in Science Teaching and Learning addresses the bold leadership necessary to bring about substantive change in science programs in today’s complex educational systems that must occur at all levels.

3. Professional Development: Implications for Science Teaching and Learning examines research on the effectiveness of high-stakes accountability systems in bringing about improvements in professional development and student learning.

4. Within the Science Classroom looks at the impact of technology, the importance of a standards-based curriculum, assessment of science instruction and student learning, and planning science experiences for diverse student populations.

5. Building Science Partnerships and Collaboration considers the importance of partnerships in science education reform, the impact of No Child Left Behind, and the role of professional learning communities in strengthening the science program. Teaching Science in the 21st Century is the latest joint publication of NSTA and the National Science Education Leadership Association. It provides a blueprint for developing a culture that allows and encourages science leaders to continually improve science programs.


Charles, K., & Shane, PM. (2006). Best Practices in Professional Development for the 21st Century. In J. Rhoton, & P. Shane (Eds.), Teaching Science in the 21st Century Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association Press.