Science Teachers Without Classrooms of Their Own: A Study of the Phenomenon of Floating
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- Dubois, S.L. & Luft, J.A. J Sci Teacher Educ (2014) 25: 5. doi:10.1007/s10972-013-9364-x
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“Floating” teachers, or teachers without their own classroom, experience unique affordances and constraints as they develop professionally. To increase the knowledge in this area, this study looks at how traveling to different classrooms affects beginning secondary science teachers’ development and instruction. The participants in this study were three first-year floating secondary science teachers whose experiences were analyzed through a cultural historical activity theory framework. The data revealed how floating can either support or constrain the development of beginning science teachers, and limit the implementation of standards-based instruction. Finally, this study shows that high levels of human, physical, and social resources are necessary for progress towards standards-based science teaching. It suggests that if science teachers must move to different classrooms, we need to create ways in which to support their instruction and development. Furthermore, this study recommends that all teachers and supervisors work toward a deeper understanding of the school community’s role in the experience of the floating science teacher.