The Policy Research Initiative in Science Education (PRISE) is an innovative science education research project sponsored by the National Science Foundation to improve Teaching and Learning in High School Science using a systems approach to link (a) education research, (b) graduate preparation, and (c) policy development. The overarching project goal is to provide the state of Texas and the nation with research findings that lead to the development of an articulated and coherent system of continuous professional growth for high school science teachers. The system includes integrated practices of recruitment, induction, professional development, and retention.
The first year of PRISE activities involved the PRISE - I Research Group in an extensive Literature Review and Sampling Plan. Resulting from these two efforts was a Conceptual Framework that guided the development and implementation of the PRISE - I Research Agenda.
Research instruments designed, tested, and revised by the PRISE Research Group included the Texas Poll of Secondary Science Teachers; the Interview Protocol for Principals; the Interview Protocol for Science Liaisons; and the Interview Protocols for Science Teachers. These instruments may be found in the PRISE Research Manual developed by the PRISE - II Research Group. The School-Based Data Collection Plan outlined the school-based data collection process used by the PRISE Research Group.
Members of the PRISE - I Research Group wrote White Papers in association with the development of the conceptual framework. These white papers provided a starting point for discussions regarding indicators of Supportive Administrators and Professionally Committed Science Teachers who encourage Professional Relationships within School Walls and Professional Supports Outside Schools Walls to assure optimal Facilities, Materials, and Safety and Working Conditions for teaching science.
Members of the PRISE - I Research Group collected data from 50 high schools identified by the sampling plan to represent 1,333 high schools in Texas providing science courses to high school science students. Once data were collected, four Preliminary Research Reports were written and shared with stakeholders in high school science at a PRISE Dialogue Forum held in Fort Worth, TX in September 2009.
Policy Briefs addressing issues associated with the professional continuum of high school science teachers were shared with PRISE sample schools and PRISE Dialogue Forum participants to (a) stimulate conversation between and among groups and (b) prepare for a second PRISE Network Meeting in October 2011.