Supporting new science teachers in pursuing socially just science education
- 39 Downloads
This forum explores contradictions that arose within the partnership between Teach for America (TFA) and a university teacher education program. TFA is an alternate route teacher preparation program that places individuals into K-12 classrooms in low-income school districts after participating in an intense summer training program and provides them with ongoing support. This forum is a conversation about the challenges we faced as new science teachers in the TFA program and in the Peace Corps program. We both entered the teaching field with science degrees and very little formal education in science education. In these programs we worked in a community very different from the one we had experienced as students. These experiences allow us to address many of the issues that were discussed in the original paper, namely teaching in an unfamiliar community amid challenges that many teachers face in the first few years of teaching. We consider how these challenges may be amplified for teachers who come to teaching through an alternate route and may not have as much pedagogical training as a more traditional teacher education program provides. The forum expands on the ideas presented in the original paper to consider the importance of perspectives on socially just science education. There is often a disconnect between what is taught in teacher education programs and what teachers actually experience in urban classrooms and this can be amplified when the training received through alternate route provides a different framework as well. This forum urges universities and alternate route programs to continue to find ways to authentically partner using practical strategies that bring together the philosophies and goals of all stakeholders in order to better prepare teachers to partner with their students to achieve their science learning goals.
KeywordsAlternate route Science teacher education Research and practice Partnership Social justice
- Abell, S., Boone, W., Arbaugh, F., Lannin, J., Beilfuss, M., Volkmann, M., et al. (2006). Recruiting future science and mathematics teachers into alternative certification programs: Strategies tried and lessons learned. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 17, 165–183. doi: 10.1007/s10972-005-9001-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- About Us—School District of Philadelphia. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.philasd.org/about/#schools.
- Baum, S., & Payea, K. (2005). The benefits of higher education for individuals and society. New York: College Board.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). New York: Greenwood.Google Scholar
- Carroll, T. (2012). Policy brief the high cost of teacher turnover. National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. Google Scholar
- Elliot, J. (1991). Action research for educational change. Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Fullan, F., & Langworthy, M. (2014). A rich seam: How new pedagogies find deep learning. London: Pearson.Google Scholar
- Ingersoll, R., Merrill, L., & Stuckey, D. (2014). Seven trends: the transformation of the teaching force, updated April 2014. CPRE Report (#RR-80). Philadelphia, PA: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania CSE Press.Google Scholar
- Kemmis, S., & Smith, T. J. (Eds.). (2008). Enabling practice: Challenges for education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishing.Google Scholar
- Labaree, D. F. (1997). How to succeed in school without really learning: The credentials race in American education. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- LaGuardia, A. (1999). A survey of school/college partnerships for minority and disadvantaged students. High School Journal, 82(2), 97.Google Scholar
- Loman, L. (2005). Successful practices in urban middle school science teaching. Doctoral dissertation, Science and Mathematics Education Centre Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia.Google Scholar
- Martin, S. (2005). The cultural and social dimensions of successful teaching and learning in an urban classroom. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA.Google Scholar
- McNew-Birren, J., Hildebrand, T., & Belknap, G. (2017). Strange bedfellows in science teacher preparation: Conflicting perspectives on social justice presented in a Teach for America-university partnership. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 12, 1–29. doi: 10.1007/s11422-016-9791-z.
- Merrill, K. (2006). Creative arts high school demographic and academic characteristics. Retrieved from http://www.creativeartshs.org/pdf/Creative%20Arts%20High%20School.pdf.
- Ruggirello, R. (2014). The role of administrator and teacher leadership in secondary science education reform. Doctoral dissertation, Science and Mathematics Education Centre Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia.Google Scholar
- Sagor, R. (2000). Guiding school improvement with action research. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
- State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.njradon.org/radonin.htm.
- Tobin, K., Elmesky, R., & Seiler, G. (2005) Improving urban science education: New roles for teachers, students and researchers. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Education. (2016). The state of racial diversity in the educator workforce, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service: Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/highered/racial-diversity/state-racial-diversityworkforce.pdf.
- Wiliam, D. (2007a). Keeping learning on track: Classroom assessment and the regulation of learning. In F. K. Lester Jr. (Ed.), Second handbook of mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 1053–1098). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
- Wiliam, D. (2007b). Content then process: teacher learning communities in the service of formative assessment. In D. B. Reeves (Ed.), Ahead of the curve: The power of assessment to transform teaching and learning (pp. 183–204). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.Google Scholar