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RESET-ting Professional Development: Fostering Mid-career K-8 Teachers' Identities and Actions as Culturally Responsive Science and Engineering Educators

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This qualitative, design-based research study explored the design, implementation, and outcomes of a professional development for mid-career K-8 science and engineering teachers. The Responsive and Empowering Science and Engineering Teacher (RESET) professional development was designed to support teachers in developing

This qualitative, design-based research study explored the design, implementation, and outcomes of a professional development for mid-career K-8 science and engineering teachers. The Responsive and Empowering Science and Engineering Teacher (RESET) professional development was designed to support teachers in developing role identities as culturally responsive teachers, change agents disrupting inequitable educational practices, and advocates of students’ equitable access to and participation in science and engineering disciplines. Four mid-career K-8 teachers participated in RESET, which was embedded in a five-week summer program focused on solar energy engineering. The teachers engaged in activities designed to increase their knowledge of and pedagogical strategies for culturally responsive teaching. After each key event, teachers reflected on their experiences in terms of their role identities, including their purposes and goals, self-perceptions, beliefs, and perceived action possibilities for that role. Teachers also engaged in critical discussions examining how the strategies and practices might contribute to more equitable science and engineering practices. An embedded case study design was used, with RESET as the focal case and the four teachers as embedded cases, to examine teachers’ experiences during RESET and actions during the school year. I analyzed teacher surveys, semi-structured interviews, written reflections, audio recordings of the critical discussions, and researcher memos from during RESET and school year observations to determine the influence of RESET on teachers’ role identity development and actions. I also analyzed a series of conjecture maps created to detail the design and adaptations of RESET to explore the extent to which RESET’s targeted enactment processes and outcomes had been achieved and design and process conjectures had been supported. Findings varied across participants, with all four participants at least somewhat achieving the targeted outcomes, indicating that all of the teachers’ role identities were influenced by RESET. Three of four teachers translated their learning into actions as culturally responsive science and engineering teachers during the school year. In terms of RESET’s design, several of the conjectures were supported or partially supported. Implications for the second iteration of RESET and for the general scholarship on professional development for mid-career K-8 science and engineering teachers are discussed.

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2021

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Increasing Student Engagement and Student Voice Through Collaborative Reflection

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In this study, the current literature regarding student engagement and student voice were reviewed to explore the connection between these two classroom elements. Currently, frequently incorporating student voice in order to increase student engagement most commonly takes place at

In this study, the current literature regarding student engagement and student voice were reviewed to explore the connection between these two classroom elements. Currently, frequently incorporating student voice in order to increase student engagement most commonly takes place at the high school and university levels. Thus, utilizing Finn’s (1989) participation-identification theory, this study set out to implement a practical design intervention in an elementary classroom to increase student engagement through the incorporation of student voice. Using Design-Based Research, I implemented a collaborative reflection process which allowed students, teacher/researcher, and co-educators to provide feedback on classroom task and participant structures. The feedback was then considered for further iterations of the task and participant structures. This was a pilot study of the collaborative reflection process and was implemented in a fourth-grade math classroom with 26 participants. Along with participating in the collaborative reflection process, the student participants also took a 26 question Learner Empowerment Measure to survey their feelings of identity with the classroom before and after the design intervention. After analyzing audio data gathered during the classroom tasks, as well as student feedback, it was found that student participation did increase due to the design intervention. However, there was no measurable difference in students’ feelings of identity with the classroom due to the collaborative reflection process. Future studies should consider implementing the collaborative reflection process in multiple classrooms across diverse activities during the school year.

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2019