Forum

Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 361-365

First online:

Just like my nanny: troubling teacher’s social identities in the classroom

  • Edna TanAffiliated withUniversity of North Carolina at Greensboro Email author 

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Abstract

Teacher-researcher narrative accounts are essential and insightful for the science education field, yet they are few and far-between. In this forum, I engage in dialogue with Nicole Grimes’s auto-ethnographic narrative on the affordances her femme-Carribean identity allowed for some students to engage more deeply in science. While I agree with and applaud Grimes’s reflection on how her perceived social identity had positive effects on some students’ engagement in science, I trouble the notion of such a social identity being framed solely as an asset to student learning by examining the power dynamics inherent in the enacted nanny-child relationship. I also propose the need for deeper analyses on how a teacher’s social identity can impact students’ learning experiences in the science classroom by looking at how the boundaries of the science classroom are redefined and what additional resources are recruited that can foster deeper engagement.

Keywords

Teacher-researcher Identity Socio-cultural perspectives Critical perspectives Urban science education