Joanna Philippoff

Joanna Philippoff, an assistant specialist in the College of Education (COE), won a Hawaiʻi Educational Research Association (HERA) Distinguished Paper Award. She presented her work, An Examination of the Long-Term Effects of a Teacher Professional Development in Inquiry Science, at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 11, 2024.

Philippoff co-authored the winning paper with Kanesa Duncan Seraphin, director of the Hawai’i Sea Grant Center for Marine Science Education, and George Harrison of the University of Oregon.

“It is an honor for my co-authors and I to receive this award,” Philippoff said. “We were thrilled to present this study at the April meeting of the American Educational Research Association. We hope this recognition of our work will encourage additional conversations about what constitutes PD success and how we can support and measure meaningful change.”

With the COE since 2005, first as graduate assistant then as a program manager, Philippoff joined the faculty in 2016. She has been presenting at HERA conferences since 2008 and served as a board member from 2016–2019. Before engaging in the research that led to the paper, Philippoff facilitated teacher professional development (PD) for a number of years.

“I found it really fulfilling,” Philippoff said. “Teacher participants reported gaining a lot from the PD I was involved in. But the more I read up on PD, the more I wondered about its long-term effects on teacher practice and thus student learning. Few studies follow participants after PD has ended. This research is a result of those wonderings.”

Engaging in a mixed methods study, Philippoff and her co-authors administered the same instruments to the same teachers before and after a teacher professional development (PD) and two and half years after the PD ended. They interviewed the teachers about factors that enhanced or impeded PD implementation.

Results from the interview and instruments measuring inquiry-based teaching knowledge, content knowledge, self-efficacy, and pedagogical content knowledge varied. The study emphasizes that while pre-post PD gains are important to understanding content and pedagogy uptake, only by following up with teachers after the PD ends can their long-term effectiveness be measured.

Since 1985, HERA has bestowed the Distinguished Paper Award. HERA is a member of the Consortium of State and Regional Educational Research Associations, an affiliate of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the largest education research association in the world.

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