Learning to Teach Elementary Science Through Iterative Cycles of Enactment in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Contexts

Abstract

Iterative cycles of enactment embedded in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts provide rich opportunities for preservice teachers (PSTs) to enact core practices of science. This study is situated in the larger Families Involved in Sociocultural Teaching and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FIESTAS) project, which weaves together cycles of enactment, core practices in science education and culturally relevant pedagogies. The theoretical foundation draws upon situated learning theory and communities of practice. Using video analysis by PSTs and course artifacts, the authors studied how the iterative process of these cycles guided PSTs development as teachers of elementary science. Findings demonstrate how PSTs were drawing on resources to inform practice, purposefully noticing their practice, renegotiating their roles in teaching, and reconsidering “professional blindness” through cultural practice.

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Correspondence to SueAnn I. Bottoms.

Appendices

Appendix 1

Adapted from table in Designing effective science instruction: what works in science classrooms (Tweed, 2009)

Title:
Performance Expectations:
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Disciplinary Core Ideas (Framework for K-12 Science) Appendices E:
Science Practices (Framework for K-12 Science) Appendices F:
Crosscutting Concepts (Framework for K-12 Science) Appendices G:
Step 1: Unpacking the standards
 Key concepts
 Essential questions and enduring understandings—questions students should be able to answer at the end of the lesson
 Prior knowledge
 Preconceptions
 Facts/knowledge
 Skills
Step 2: Assessment and evidence of learning—these should be directly linked to the standards, big ideas and enduring understandings. It is how you decide what the learners will do in the Evaluate stage of the 5-E model
Step 3: High quality instructional activities—these should be matched to the key concepts, knowledge, and skills and sequenced to develop conceptual understanding. Using the 5-E model, Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. Chapter 5 in text
 Cycle 1: Lesson plan Engage and Explore
 Cycle 2: Lesson plan Explain and Elaborate
 Cycle 3: Lesson plan Evaluate

Appendix 2: Prompts for Reconstruction Phase

Cycle 1: Reconstructing the Science Lesson: Reference Pages 23–76 in Designing Effective Science Instruction (Start in Class After Teaching)

  1. 1.

    Below your instructional plan write a brief summary of what actually happened in the lesson, what did the children do, what did you do? Do this both from recall (not the video). Write your notes in this section.

  2. 2.

    Reflect on the purpose of the lesson; using questioning strategies to elicit student thinking. How do you think you did in terms of this goal? What evidence supports your claim? What might you have done differently? What would you do differently if you were to do this again?

  3. 3.

    Review your questions you generated, and discuss how you used them and what they helped you accomplish in the lesson? What might you do next time?

  4. 4.

    Discuss and describe your collaborative process and how you think it worked. What might you do differently for Cycle 2?

  5. 5.

    Write in Google Docs on your chosen color, 1–2 paragraphs that summarize your “take-away(s)” from this first cycle. Discuss with your PLC. It might help to think of this in terms of the purpose of the lesson and the readings that are relevant.

  6. 6.

    We start this in class so you have time to debrief together; it is due on Google Docs before class next Monday.

Cycle 2: Reconstructing the Science Lesson: Reference Pages 23–76 in Designing Effective Science Instruction (Start in Class)

  1. 1.

    Below your instructional plan write a brief summary of what actually happened in the lesson, what did the children do, what did you do? Do this both from recall (not the video). Write your notes in this section.

  2. 2.

    Reflect on the purpose of the lesson: constructing big ideas and making sense of material. How do you think you did in terms of this goal? What evidence supports your claim? What might you have done differently? What would you do differently if you were to do this again?

  3. 3.

    Review the different teaching strategies you used, discuss how you used them and what they helped you accomplish in the lesson? What might you do next time?

  4. 4.

    Discuss and describe your collaborative process and how you think it worked. What might you do differently for Cycle 3?

  5. 5.

    Write in Google Docs and in your chosen color 1–2 paragraphs that summarize your “take-away(s)” for this first cycle; discuss with your PLC. It might help to think of this in terms of what the purpose of the lesson was.

  6. 6.

    We start this in class so you have time to debrief together; it is due on Google Docs before class next Monday.

Cycle 3: Reconstructing the Science Lesson: Reference Pages 23–76 in Designing Effective Science Instruction (Start in Class)

  1. 1.

    Below your instructional plan write a brief summary of what actually happened in the lesson, what did the children do, what did you do? Do this both from recall (not the video). Write your notes in this section. At the end of the lesson, what did you want children to take away?

  2. 2.

    Reflect on the purpose of the lesson; Pressing students for evidence based explanations. How do you think you did in terms of this goal? How do you know they know? What evidence supports your claim? What might you have done differently?

  3. 3.

    Review your the three lesson sequence and discuss the role of the 5 E’s model in these cycles. How would you use the model in designing future science lessons?

  4. 4.

    Discuss and describe your collaborative process and how you think it worked. How would you evaluate your work as a PLC over the course the cycles of enactment?

  5. 5.

    Write in Google Docs and in your chosen color 1–2 paragraphs that summarize your “take-away(s)” for this cycle as well as the overall cycles; discuss with your PLC. It might help to think of this in terms of what the purpose of the lesson and the purpose of the cycles of enactment.

  6. 6.

    We start this in class so you have time to debrief together; it is due on Google Docs before class next Monday.

Appendix 3: Prompts for Analysis and Interpretation of Teaching

Analysis of Teaching

van Es and Sherin (p. 573, 2002) studied what PST learned to “notice” when they used video and concluded that teachers need to

  1. 1.

    Learn to pay attention to what is important

  2. 2.

    Make connections between specific classroom interactions and the broader concepts and principles of teaching and learning they represent, and

  3. 3.

    Use what they know about their own teaching content to reason about a given situation

*Rosaen et al. (p. 348, 2008) found that video-supported reflection helps PST to

  1. 1.

    Write more specific (vs. general) comments about their teaching than writing from memory

  2. 2.

    Shift the content of the reflections from a focus on classroom management in memory-based reflection to a focus on instruction when video is available and

  3. 3.

    Focus less on themselves and more on children when they reflect on videotapes of their teaching

*This article is about the use of video analysis in helping preservice teachers notice interactions in their teaching and how this noticing can be used to reflect upon and inform practice. This is a key document in the analysis of teaching part of the cycles of enactment. Read the Abstract, Introduction (first four paragraphs) and the Results: Learning to Learn from Experience pages 353–358.

Cycle 1

How are you connecting the readings and ideas you are studying about science teaching and learning to your teaching?

Chose three interactions (per person) from the video clip (note the time so that I can see what you are referring to), describe the interaction and talk about the role of the child and the role of the teacher, talk about why you have chosen these moment, and how these events relate to the learning goals of the lesson. In class after teaching each PLC will watch the video and start the analysis process. Make explicit connections to the readings (Use APA format for citations). How do the readings help you think more deeply about what you are noticing?

Prompts to help guide you in your reflecting:

Use these questions to help discuss your interactions:

  1. 1.

    As you watch the video, make notes here about what you are noticing in the teaching cycle. Pay particular attention to the interaction between teacher and child and child and child interactions. Specify the interactions that your PLC will analyze in this cycle (be sure to note the time so I can also review).

  2. 2.

    For each interaction you choose, what claims can you make about the interactions? What do the interactions tell you about teaching and/or learning? Be explicit in your descriptions; make sure that the evidence from the interactions supports your claims.

  3. 3.

    What is your interpretation and sense making around each interaction? This is where you connect what you notice to what you are reading and learning about science teaching and science learning. A claim must be supported by evidence and related to what we know about teaching and learning.

  4. 4.

    Be sure to read your colleagues analysis and offer your thinking on their analysis. Do you agree or disagree, and why? What do you notice that your colleague did not, or what did they notice that you did not?

  5. 5.

    What questions do you still have about what occurred? How will what you noticed in the video and discovered in the analysis help you prepare for the next cycle?

Cycle 2

How are you connecting the readings and ideas you are studying about science teaching and learning to your teaching?

Chose three interactions (per person) from the video clip (note the time so that I can see what you are referring to), describe the interaction and talk about the role of the child and the role of the teacher, talk about why you have chosen these moment, and how these events relate to the learning goals of the lesson. In class after teaching each PLC will watch the video and start the analysis process. Make explicit connections to the readings (Use APA format for citations). How do the readings help you think more deeply about what you are noticing?

Prompts to help guide you in your reflecting:

Use these questions to help discuss your interactions:

  1. 1.

    As you watch the video, make notes here about what you are noticing in the teaching cycle. Pay particular attention to the interaction between teacher and child and child and child interactions. Specify the interactions that your PLC will analyze in this cycle (be sure to note the time so I can also review).

  2. 2.

    For each interaction you choose, what claims can you make about the interactions? What do the interactions tell you about teaching and/or learning? Be explicit in your descriptions; make sure that the evidence from the interactions supports your claims.

  3. 3.

    What is your interpretation and sense making around each interaction? This is where you connect what you notice to what you are reading and learning about science teaching and science learning. A claim must be supported by evidence and related to what we know about teaching and learning.

  4. 4.

    Be sure to read your colleagues analysis and offer your thinking on their analysis. Do you agree or disagree, and why? What do you notice that your colleague did not, or what did they notice that you did not?

  5. 5.

    What questions do you still have about what occurred? How will what you noticed in the video and discovered in the analysis help you prepare for the next cycle?

Cycle 3

How are you connecting the readings and ideas you are studying about science teaching and learning to your teaching?

Chose three interactions (per person) from the video clip (note the time so that I can see what you are referring to), describe the interaction and talk about the role of the child and the role of the teacher, talk about why you have chosen these moment, and how these events relate to the learning goals of the lesson. In class after teaching each PLC will watch the video and start the analysis process. Make explicit connections to the readings (Use APA format for citations). How do the readings help you think more deeply about what you are noticing? The purpose of this third cycle is assessment, how do you know what they know, pay attention to interactions that help you address this question.

Prompts to help guide you in your reflecting:

Use these questions to help discuss your interactions:

  1. 1.

    As you watch the video, make notes here about what you are noticing in the teaching cycle. In this cycle focus your attention to interactions that help you address the question, how do you know what they know? Pay particular attention to the interaction between teacher and child and child and child interactions. Specify the interactions that your PLC will analyze in this cycle (be sure to note the time so I can also review).

  2. 2.

    For each interaction you choose, what claims can you make about the interactions? How do the interactions help inform your instruction, and help you determine what the children are taking away from this lesson and from the three cycles.  Be explicit in your descriptions; make sure that the evidence from the interactions supports your claims.

  3. 3.

    What is your interpretation and sense making around each interaction? This is where you connect what you notice to what you are reading and learning about science teaching and science learning. A claim must be supported by evidence and related to what we know about teaching and learning. The literature that may be most helpful in your analysis here might be, Designing Effective Science Instruction, What Does it Mean to Know?  and Chapter 5 from the text.

  4. 4.

    Be sure to read your colleagues analysis and offer your thinking on their analysis. Do you agree or disagree, and why? What do you notice that your colleague did not, or what did they notice that you did not?

  5. 5.

    Refer to the Noticing, Noticing article and write a summary paragraph that describes how video reflection as a tool has helped you develop as a teacher over these three cycles.  How has it changed over the three cycles? Provide at least two specific examples from your experiences in the cycles to support whatever claim(s) you make.

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Bottoms, S.I., Ciechanowski, K.M. & Hartman, B. Learning to Teach Elementary Science Through Iterative Cycles of Enactment in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Contexts. J Sci Teacher Educ 26, 715–742 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-016-9447-6

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Keywords

  • Cycles of enactment
  • Elementary science methods course
  • Professional learning communities
  • Communities of practice
  • Science teaching practices
  • Afterschool STEM club
  • Dual immersion
  • Preservice teachers