Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


First year teachers--Training of--Iowa--Marion; Science teachers--Training of--Iowa--Marion;


The underlying theory of this research study is a radical constructivist worldview. Radical constructivism is based on two main ideas, that knowledge is not passively received but instead is actively built by individual people and that the function of cognition is adaptive and works to organize the experiential world (Von Glasersfeld, 1989). It is assumed that as teachers partake in a professional learning community they seek understanding of their school and classroom. Findings of the research will not be narrow but rather varied and multiple, leading to a range of views rather than a singular view. In radical constructivism, experience is subjective, so each participant will work to make sense perceptions filtered through their individual biases. The goal of the research is to determine how the science department makes sense of PLCs and a case study research approach will be used with this constructivist worldview. Case study research aims to understand a particular phenomenon, the implementation of a science Professional Learning Community at Marion High School in this case, by selecting that phenomenon as the focus of the study. Outcomes of the research will be an in-depth analysis of the first year of PLC implementation within the science department. This study will be openly shared with any interested teacher or administrator. This would allow teachers involved in the science department PLC and administrators who oversee the PLC time to reflect and make any necessary adjustments going in to the second year of implementation. Administrators have their own way to determine how the first year of PLCs go, but this would allow for one more piece of qualitative data. On a broader scale, it might provide similar sized districts or departments an idea of what to expect when they begin the same PLC journey.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


Science Education Program

First Advisor

Jeffrey Morgan

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (87 pages)



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