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Herrington receives $1.1M grant for science teacher professional development program

 Deborah Herrington, principal investigator and associate professor of chemistry at Grand Valley State University, has received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand and further study the Target Inquiry (TI) program. The TI program, co-designed by Herrington and first implemented at GVSU for high school chemistry teachers in 2006, has been successful beyond initial expectations. Data show changes in teaching practices have resulted in improved student learning. Additionally, TI teachers report improved student confidence, interest, and engagement as well as improved retention of concepts with the use of more inquiry-based instruction. 

Now Herrington says she is excited to be able to expand the program to all middle and high school science teachers thanks to funding from NSF as well as support from GVSU and a collaboration between the College of Education and science education faculty from chemistry, physics, biology, and geology.  “Over the six years of TI’s existence we have had several teachers ask when we are going to have this for biology, physics, or earth science, so we know there is a desire for this program in those disciplines.”

Herrington is a co-creator of the TI model and began its implementation and study at GVSU in 2006. For more information or if you are a science teacher interested in being part of the next TI cohort, visit or contact Deborah Herrington at (616) 331-3809.
Deborah Herrington, (616) 331-3809, GVSU Chemistry Department


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