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Understanding the Complexity of Science Teachers’ Lived Experience as They Navigate Two Out-of-Field Areas: Implications and Possibilities

Abstract

In the Australian state of Victoria, science teachers have professional duties to teach across biology, chemistry, Earth and space sciences and physics while seamlessly integrating digital technologies into their practice. Geoscience is the study of Earth’s solid components and processes acting on them. It is a discipline that, like digital technologies, has been historically documented to be taught by out-of-field teachers. This chapter seeks to unpack the complexities of science teachers’ lived experience by exemplifying how interview data from four ‘in-field’ teachers were analysed along the positioning triad (Harré & van Langenhove, 1999) as they reflected on their rights and duties teaching across this curricular intersection. Findings indicate implications for workplace professional learning and a need for pragmatic approaches to support this unique cohort of in-service teachers. The chapter concludes with recommendations for school leadership, theoreticians and policy makers to monitor and support teachers toward enacting the intended curriculum such that teachers’ professional expertise in specialist areas can be translated and extended to out-of-field areas.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In 2009, the Australian federal government oversaw the establishment of a national curriculum from foundation to year 10 (Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority, n.d.-a). Apart from the states of Victoria and New South Wales, the Australian Curriculum has been adopted by all other states and territories, however the content descriptions for these state-mandated curricula are comparable to the Australian Curriculum.

  2. 2.

    For further insight into the wider study, see Rochette, E. (2020). Teaching geoscience out-of-field with digital technologies: Understanding agency through positioning theory [The University of Melbourne]. Melbourne, VIC.

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Acknowledgements

I acknowledge the contribution of my PhD supervisors, Dr. Christine Redman (The University of Melbourne) and Dr. Paul Chandler (Australian Catholic University), as much of this thinking was crafted under their supervision.

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Rochette, E. (2022). Understanding the Complexity of Science Teachers’ Lived Experience as They Navigate Two Out-of-Field Areas: Implications and Possibilities. In: Hobbs, L., Porsch, R. (eds) Out-of-Field Teaching Across Teaching Disciplines and Contexts. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-9328-1_5

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