Teachers' Practices (teacher + practice)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Scientific explanations: Characterizing and evaluating the effects of teachers' instructional practices on student learning

Katherine L. McNeill
Abstract Teacher practices are essential for supporting students in scientific inquiry practices, such as the construction of scientific explanations. In this study, we examine what instructional practices teachers engage in when they introduce scientific explanation and whether these practices influence students' ability to construct scientific explanations during a middle school chemistry unit. Thirteen teachers enacted a project-based chemistry unit, How can I make new stuff from old stuff?, with 1197 seventh grade students. We videotaped each teacher's enactment of the focal lesson on scientific explanation and then coded the videotape for four different instructional practices: modeling scientific explanation, making the rationale of scientific explanation explicit, defining scientific explanation, and connecting scientific explanation to everyday explanation. Our results suggest that when teachers introduce scientific explanation, they vary in the practices they engage in as well as the quality of their use of these practices. We also found that teachers' use of instructional practices can influence student learning of scientific explanation and that the effect of these instructional practices depends on the context in terms of what other instructional practices the teacher uses. 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 45: 53,78, 2008 [source]

Building teacher identity with urban youth: Voices of beginning middle school science teachers in an alternative certification program

Amira Proweller
Teacher identity development and change is shaped by the interrelationship between personal biography and experience and professional knowledge linked to the teaching environment, students, subject matter, and culture of the school. Working from this framework, this study examines how beginning teacher interns who are part of an alternative route to teacher certification construct a professional identity as science educators in response to the needs and interests of urban youth. From the teacher interns, we learn that crafting a professional identity as a middle-level science teacher involves creating a culture around science instruction driven by imagining "what can be," essentially a vision for a quality and inclusive science curriculum implicating science content, teaching methods, and relationships with their students. The study has important implications for the preparation of a stronger and more diverse teaching force able to provide effective and inclusive science education for all youth. It also suggests the need for greater attention to personal and professional experience and perceptions as critical to the development of a meaningful teacher practice in science. 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 41: 1044,1062, 2004 [source]

Teacher expectations and student self-perceptions: Exploring relationships

Christine M. Rubie-Davies
For 40 years, researchers have been exploring the teacher-expectation phenomenon. Few have examined the possibility that teacher expectations may be class centered rather than individually centered. The current study aimed to track the self-perception outcomes of students (N = 256) whose teachers had high or low class-level expectations. Students completed the Reading, Mathematics, Physical Abilities, and Peer Relations subscales of the Self Description Questionnaire-1 (SDQ-1; Marsh, 1990) at the beginning and end of 1 year. A subscale related to student perception of how the teacher viewed their abilities was added. At the beginning of the year, there were no statistically significant differences between the expectation groups in any of the academic or teacher opinion scales. By the end of the year, statistically significant differences were found in academic and teacher opinion areas due mainly to a decline in the self-perceptions of students with low-expectation teachers. Implications for teacher practice are discussed. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 43: 537,552, 2006. [source]

Promoting student engagement in science: Interaction rituals and the pursuit of a community of practice

Stacy Olitsky
This study explores the relationship between interaction rituals, student engagement with science, and learning environments modeled on communities of practice based on an ethnographic study of an eighth grade urban magnet school classroom. It compares three interactional events in order to examine the classroom conditions and teacher practices that can foster successful interaction rituals (IRs), which are characterized by high levels of emotional energy, feelings of group membership, and sustained interest in the subject. Classroom conditions surrounding the emergence of successful IRs included mutual focus, familiar symbols and activity structures, the permissibility of some side-talk, and opportunities for physical and emotional entrainment. Sustained interest in the topic beyond the duration of the IR and an increase in students' helping each other learn occurred more frequently when the mutual focus consisted of science-related symbols, when there were low levels of risk for participants, when activities involved sufficient challenge and time, and when students were positioned as knowledgeable and competent in science. The results suggest that successful interaction rituals can foster student engagement with topics that may not have previously held interest and can contribute to students' support of peers' learning, thereby moving the classroom toward a community-of-practice model. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach [source]

The Role of Conversation in a Thematic Understanding of Literature

Catherine Cobb Morocco
Opportunities to discuss literature with peers are critical to students' development of literary understanding. Despite the importance of these discourse experiences, many middle-school students are not afforded these opportunities or the necessary teacher support in their English language arts classrooms. Based on a sociocultural perspective, we set out to examine the ways that middle-grades students, particularly those with disabilities, contribute to peer-led discussions and how their participation enables them to build toward textual understanding, social understanding, and understanding of literary discourse. We conducted an in-depth analysis of a verbatim transcription of a video-taped literacy lesson in an urban classroom. Drawing on that analysis, we describe the ways students participated in the literary discourse and the teacher practices that supported students' participation in this discourse. This analysis provides evidence that students with disabilities can acquire the discourse practices needed for interpreting challenging literature with their regular education peers. [source]

Fostering a community of practice through a professional development program to improve elementary teachers' views of nature of science and teaching practice

Valarie L. Akerson
Abstract This study explored the development of a community of learners through a professional development program to improve teachers' views of nature of science (NOS) and teaching practice. The Views of Nature of Science questionnaire and interviews were used to assess teachers' conceptions of NOS three times over the course of the study. Notes and videotapes taken during workshops and classroom observations were used to track influence of the community of learners on classroom practice. The community of practice (CoP) was fostered through an intensive summer workshop, monthly school site workshops, and classroom support to aid teachers in incorporating new techniques and reflecting upon their learning and practice. We found that teachers became aware of their changes in views about NOS once they struggled with the concepts in their own teaching and discussed their struggles within the professional development community. The CoP on its own was not sufficient to change teacher's practice or knowledge, but it created a well-supported environment that facilitated teacher change when paired with NOS modeling and explicit reflection. Cases of three teachers are used to illustrate changes in views and teaching practice common to the teachers in this study. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 1090,1113, 2009 [source]

Stories of Schools/Teacher Stories: A Two-Part Invention on the Walls Theme

Cheryl J. Craig
Patterned in the style of a musical invention, this work adopts Clandinin and Connelly's metaphor of a professional knowledge landscape (1995), Olson's conceptualization of the narrative authority (1993, 1995) of teacher knowledge, and my idea that teachers develop their knowledge in knowledge communities (Craig 1992, 1995a, 1995b, 1998). The first invention outlines the stories of school (Clandinin & Connelly 1996) that Riverview School and Evergreen School were given and the changes that take place over time. The second invention features beginning teacher, Benita Dalton, and her narratives of experience lived and told in the two school contexts. Relating the teacher's stories to the narrative accounts of the two campuses illustrates the extent to which context shapes teachers' practices and bounds their knowing. The work sheds much light on the subtle complexities of teachers' professional knowledge landscapes and adds to the conceptual base of a line of inquiry that focuses on the shaping effect of context on teachers' knowledge developments. An invention, loosely defined, involves the creation, through thought and/or action, of something that did not exist before. Written in the style of a musical invention, this piece is composed of two parts featuring the stories of two schools played against the evolving stories of a teacher who worked in both contexts. While the two parts of the invention both develop the walls theme, each unfolds in a different manner. The two variations which constitute the first part of the invention center on the stories of school (Clandinin & Connelly 1996) that Riverview School and Evergreen School were given and examines how these stories changed over time. The two variations that comprise the second part of the invention highlight beginning teacher, Benita Dalton, her stories of experience (Connelly & Clandinin 1990) lived and told at the two schools, and shifts that took place in her knowledge development. Connecting the fine-grained accounts of an individual with the coarse-grained accounts of schools reveals the extent to which stories of school influence teachers' practices, set the horizons of what is available for teachers to come to know, and adds to the conceptual base of a line of research that examines the how teachers' knowledge developments are influenced by context. The work begins with introductions to Benita Dalton and me, the teacher and the researcher in the study. Discussions of the research method and the theoretical framework appear next. These preliminary sketches prepare the reader for the two-part invention that follows. They lay the methodological groundwork as well as provide lenses with which to view, and a language with which to describe, contextual experiences. The next segment of the piece is Part I of the Invention comprised of Variation I: A Narrative Account of Riverview School, Variation II: A Narrative Account of Evergreen School, and a reflective coda on stories of schools. These passages bring the first part of the invention to closure. Next comes Invention II, the second movement of the piece, featuring Variation I: A Story of Benita's Experience at Riverview and Variation II: A Story of Benita's Experience at Evergreen. As with the first part of the invention, a reflective coda appears at the end of Benita's stories of experience that concludes the second part of the invention. The article ends with a grand finale, where the parallel stories developed in the invention's two parts are intentionally brought together for practical and theoretical purposes. These closing passages specifically address the principle question, the simple melody around which this two-part inquiry/invention has been constructed/composed: How does context affect teachers' knowledge developments? [source]

In search of well-started beginning science teachers: Insights from two first-year elementary teachers

Lucy Avraamidou
Abstract The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore what aspects of two first-year elementary teachers' practices were most consistent with an inquiry-based approach, what PCK served as a mechanism for facilitating these practices, and what experiences have mediated the nature and development of these teachers' PCK. For each of the participants data included audio-recorded interviews, video-recorded classroom observations, lesson plans, and samples of student work. Data analysis illustrated that both participants engaged their students in question-driven investigations, the use of observational data, making connections between evidence and claims, and communicating those claims to others. Moreover, there was clear evidence in the findings of the study that a considerable degree of coherence existed between the two participants' knowledge on one hand and their instructional practices on the other hand. The participants perceived specific learning experiences during their programs as being critical to their development. The contribution of this study lies in the fact that it provides examples of well-started beginning elementary teachers implementing inquiry-based science in 2nd and 5th grade classrooms. Implications of the study include the need for the design of university-based courses and interventions by which teacher preparation and professional development programs support teachers in developing PCK for scientific inquiry and enacting instructional practices that are congruent with reform initiatives. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:661,686, 2010 [source]

Classroom processes and positive youth development: Conceptualizing, measuring, and improving the capacity of interactions between teachers and students

Robert C. Pianta
The National Research Council's (NRC) statement and description of features of settings that have value for positive youth development have been of great importance in shifting discourse toward creating programs that capitalize on youth motivations toward competence and connections with others. This assets-based approach to promote development is consistent with the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) framework for measuring and improving the quality of teacher-student interactions in classroom settings. This chapter highlights the similarities between the CLASS and NRC systems and describes the CLASS as a tool for standardized measurement and improvement of classrooms and their effects on children. It argues that the next important steps to be taken in extending the CLASS and NRC frameworks involve reengineering assessments of teacher and classroom quality and professional development around observations of teachers' performance. This might include using observations in policies regarding teacher quality or a "highly effective teacher" that may emanate from the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind and moving away from a course or workshop mode of professional development to one that ties supports directly to teachers' practices in classroom settings. [source]