education, where pre-service professional development largely resides, have substantially changed their practices and programs since the introduction of the NSES.

In the rest of this paper, I discuss how I arrived at these conclusions. After this introduction, I briefly describe the body of evidence that I examined, how it was compiled, and the framework I developed to conduct these analyses. I have organized the findings of this paper into three major sections, modeled after the National Research Council’s (NRC) framework for research in mathematics, science, and technology education (NRC, 2002). First, I examine the evidence of the influence of the NSES on policies and policy systems related to professional development. Second, I investigate the evidence of the influence of the NSES on the pre-service delivery system. Third, I explore the evidence of the influence of the NSES on the in-service professional development delivery system. The paper concludes with a discussion of how research can better investigate the relationship between the NSES and different components of the professional development system.


Thinking about how to weigh the evidence that could substantiate a case that the NSES have influenced the components of the professional development system, I refined a framework that was developed at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (T.B. Corcoran, personal communication, 2001). It is displayed in Figure 3-1. In the figure, our confidence in any research-based knowledge is predicated by two factors. The first factor is the quality of the research that has been conducted to address a particular hypothesis. The second factor is the replicability of these findings. Thus, if one case study reaches a certain conclusion, we have little confidence in the generalizability of these results. However, if the results are confirmed repeatedly in studies that employ multiple research strategies, we can have increasing confidence that their findings are generalizeable. Thus, as the conceptual framework in Figure 3-1 implies, in order to consider how the NSES have influenced the various components of the professional development system, it is important to identify both the quality of the evidence and the extent to which studies reinforce each other (replicability) in order to assess the strength of the evidence of the influence of the NSES on professional development.

FIGURE 3-1 Framework for building a body of research evidence.

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