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Coaching for Sustainability: Peer Coaching Science Inquiry in Rural Schools

Research Team


Principal Investigator: SoonChun Lee

Co-Principal Investigators: Gwen Nugent, Sue Ellen DeChenne, Jon Pedersen, Gina Kunz

Funding Information

Funding Agency: Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE)

Award Date: Mar 1, 2013

End Date: Jun 30, 2014


This project aims to provide additional PD and peer-coaching science inquiry to approximately 16 CSI teachers in Nebraska rural areas by collaborating with eight ESUs that include three high-needs districts (e.g., Creighton Public, Wynot Public and Greeley-Wolbach Public Schools), one low-performing school (e.g., Minden Public Schools), and two private schools (e.g., St. Anthony School and Spalding Academy).

The study is designed to achieve three primary objectives aimed at improving Nebraska science teachers' inquiry knowledge and skills and expanding its impacts more widely in Nebraska rural areas:

  • To increase teacher competency in developing and implementing guided inquiry lessons; 
  • To develop and test a peer-coaching professional development program for science teachers in Nebraska rural schools; and 
  • To build a community of science educators in Nebraska that includes science teachers, science administrators/coordinators, and University of Nebraska science and education professors.
The project will develop active relationships among rural science teachers through various communication technologies and professional development opportunities. Through summer workshops and peer-coaching sessions during the following school year, participating teachers collaborate with peer teachers, CSI coaches, and University of Nebraska science and education professors. This continuing interaction will provide the opportunities of sharing their inquiry lesson units, ideas and know-how to meet science state standards, thus forming the initial foundation for a sustainable Nebraska science teacher community. 

Rural Schools and Communities, Academic Intervention & Learning