5E Model Professional Development in Science Education for Special Educators (5E-SESE)

down arrowWhat is 5E-SESE?

5E-SESE is federally-funded research project aimed at developing an online professional development system in science for special educators. The system includes self-directed modules and individualized coaching for teachers who teach science to students with significant cognitive disabilities. 5E-SESE develops teachers' capacity to provide effective science instruction, combining features of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and an inquiry-based science teaching model of instruction (called "5E" which stands for Engage – Explore – Explain – Elaborate – Evaluate).

down arrowWho can participate in the 5E-SESE project and within what timeframe?

Sites may be specific schools or entire districts. In phase 2, the sites must include teachers who provide science instruction to students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-5. While individual teachers are welcome, it is preferred that multiple teachers from one site participate.

down arrowCan the same schools participate in the upcoming field test phase if it has already participated in a previous phase of the project?

A district may participate in more than one research phase; however, a single school (or any eligible teacher) may only participate in one phase. It is preferred that a district volunteer for one phase and include multiple schools (or sites) during that phase.

down arrowAre there any benefits to the district from the grant?

When the 4-year research study is over, all sites will have access to the final version of the PD system. One benefit to participating in early phases is that district staff will help shape the PD system before it is finalized. That involvement will lead to higher quality PD design, which will benefit future teachers who participate in the system. Also, teachers who participate will be gaining valuable science content knowledge and knowledge of how to adapt science lessons for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

down arrowAre there any incentives/benefits for teachers who participate in 5E-SESE research studies?

Yes! Teachers who participate in any research phase will receive monetary gift cards for completing a study. More details about benefits, as well as their commitment, will be shared in recruitment letters for districts.

down arrowWhat should a district or teachers do if they have more questions before deciding whether to participate in a research phase?

If anyone is interested in participating but have additional questions, we are happy to speak with them. They can contact us at