"Understanding Affordances and Constraints of Using Core Practices to Prepare Science Teachers for Equity"
American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting
Theme: Leveraging Educational Research in a “Post-Truth” Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence
April 5-9, 2019
Title: Understanding Affordances and Constraints of Using Core Practices to Prepare Science Teachers for Equity (Paper)
Roundtable Session: Conceptualizing and Measuring Opportunity to Learn in Teaching Education
Author: Hosun Kang
Abstract: This study explores the affordances and constraints of using a set of the core practices—Ambitious Science Teaching (Windschitl, Thompson, Braaten, & Stroupe, 2013)—as a main curriculum of science methods courses for preparing secondary science teachers for equity. Employing a longitudinal qualitative case study approach (Merriam, 2002; Yin, 2013), this study follows three novice secondary science teachers’ trajectories of participation over three years from preparation to their second year of teaching. Participants were three white women who taught Latinx, English Learner students who had special needs and those who lived in poverty.
Sociocultural and critical race theory (CRT) (Engeström, 1999; Greeno, 2006; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Parsons, 2017) guided the analyses of three white female science teachers’ learning to teach during the preparation period mediated by core practices, and their later instruction with historically marginalized students in science classrooms when they became teachers of record.
Data included: (a) a teaching episode (TE) that consisted of teaching video, written plans and reports, other instructional materials, and samples of student work; (b) end-of-year interviews, (c) post-observation interviews, and (d) participants’ vision statement. A total of 27 TEs were collected over three years (3 TEs x 3 years x 3 cases = 27 TEs).
Two questions guided the analyses:
The data were coded in two layers: First, novices’ trajectories of participation across settings and over time were coded with attention to framing of the learning goals and positioning of historically marginalized students. Next, guided by CRT, novice teachers’ trajectories werre coded once again attending to power, race, and racism.
The findings suggest that using the core practices as the main curriculum of science methods course can contribute to preparing novice teachers for equity by supporting them to see racially, economically, and linguistically marginalized youth as capable sense-makers. However, the core practices in and of themselves have limited capacity to help develop novice teachers’ cultural competencies and critical consciousness, which profoundly affect their interpretations and interactions with marginalized youth in classrooms.
Despite increasing interest in using core or high-leverage practice as a main curriculum of teacher education, currently there are few empirical studies that examine what this new pedagogical approach offers in terms of preparing teachers for equity. This study provides empirically grounded insights about both the affordances and constraints of HLPs in creating opportunities for preservice teachers to learn and develop as equity-minded educators
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