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  1. Redesigning science and technology education

    Bybee, Rodger W.
    Washington, D.C. : National Science Teachers Assn., c1984.

  2. Is less always more? What PISA 2015 can actually tell us about inquiry-based science teaching practices

    Dozier, Sara Joslyn
    [Stanford, California] : [Stanford University], 2021

    International large-scale assessments, including the International Program for Student Assessment (PISA), influence both educational policy and practice. Studies based on results from the 2015 survey described a negative relationship the frequency of inquiry-based science instruction and student scientific literacy scores. Based on this correlation, PISA's parent organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recommended that inquiry-based instructional practices be approached with caution. PISA's recommendation conflicts with numerous classroom-based studies, which have found that inquiry-based instruction improves student learning. Furthermore, due to PISA's influence, articles for science teachers claiming that inquiry-based instruction is ineffective now cite PISA results as supporting evidence. This dissertation uses data from PISA 2015 and student interviews to better understand the nature of this relationship. By closely examining the assumptions inherent in the primary analysis of PISA 2015 data using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, this set of studies challenges PISA's claim about inquiry-based instructional practices. The analyses indicate at least four areas in which threats to validity warrant wariness about the PISA recommendation that inquiry-based practice may not be effective. First, analyses should account for the multidimensionality of the PISA enquiry-driven instruction index. Second, linear models may not accurately describe the relationship between student-reported frequencies of inquiry-based instruction and scientific literacy scores, so other models should be explored. Third, measurement invariance for students from different SES quartiles suggests that either the items or the efficacy of inquiry-based instruction vary for students from different groups and a more nuanced perspective is needed before developing recommendations. Finally, student interpretations of the items and response space require more study if we are to use the questionnaire responses to describe the activities students have in mind and their frequencies. Together, these findings suggest that the OCED recommendations about science instructional practices should be reconsidered. Alternative interpretive models and recommendations for practice are discussed

  3. Considering chemistry education for social justice : examining teachers' conceptions and applications

    Ribay, Kathryn Ileana
    [Stanford, California] : [Stanford University], 2022

    This dissertation investigates the concept of social justice within the context of chemistry teaching. Social justice science teaching has demonstrated positive impacts on students' engagement, self-efficacy, and affiliation with science across a range of ages and learning contexts, yet the often-flexible definition of the concept can make it challenging to imagine implementation against the specific details of chemistry subject matter. Maintaining a commitment to social justice teaching can be especially challenging when navigating the bureaucratic systems and ever-spiraling responsibilities of the education system. This tension intensified during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as teachers faced global impacts on education with minimal initial guidance. The three papers of this dissertation identify how teachers conceptualize social justice, how they enact those ideas of social justice through the details of their chemistry teaching, and how they drew on those ideas while adapting to emergency remote instruction during the spring of 2020. Paper 1 investigates how a group of chemistry teachers with expressed commitments to integrating social justice in their classrooms conceptualized the role and impact of social justice in chemistry education. Drawing from theories of critical literacy and social justice teaching, I use qualitative interviews to investigate secondary chemistry teachers' conceptions of the points of integration between chemistry and social justice. The analysis identified three primary themes of teaching chemistry for social justice that emerged from the interviews: student action, teacher practice, and content critique. Rather than characterizing static 'types' of teachers, these aspects define a dynamic framework that provides a crucial shared vocabulary to convey the multiple elements necessary to develop a justice-centered chemistry classroom. Implications of this study address the discipline-specific challenges and opportunities of teaching chemistry for social justice. To better understand how social-justice-oriented educators navigate the tensions that emerge between theory and practice of teaching chemistry for social justice, paper 2 uses qualitative methods to investigate the social justice problems of practice identified by five chemistry teachers in a year-long professional learning community. By analyzing the challenges described in their problem-posing segments, I identify seven major themes that represent key sources of tension and possibility as teachers moved from theory to practice in teaching chemistry for social justice. These findings indicate that the practical considerations of day-to-day teaching practice create the most salient tensions when moving from theoretical ideas of social justice to an integrated enactment of social justice teaching. Through a deeper analysis of two cases, I demonstrate how discussions within the group shifted the tensions from potential barriers to areas of possibility in which they were able to enact new ideas within the confines of their context. Implications for teacher education suggest that developing social justice educators requires attention to navigating the practical details of teaching from a social justice lens. Paper 3 draws on the framework of adaptive expertise to analyze the reflections of Salma, a first-year teacher, as she navigated emergency remote instruction at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. My analysis of the case study data identified instances of innovation and efficiency in Salma's explanations of decision-making and the role that her ideas about social justice played in her process. The analysis found that Salma was positioned as a frustrated novice with regards to content and pedagogy as she began the process of transitioning to remote instruction. However, with support from her PLC, Salma exhibited characteristics of adaptive expertise by the close of the school year. The findings suggest that adaptive expertise can be conceptualized collectively, in which the members of a group of educators are able to draw on their collective areas of efficiency and innovation in order to support the development of collective adaptive expertise. Implications include the importance of developing a social justice stance as a central part of teacher learning so that questions of equity and justice are an integral part of the expertise that teachers apply when adapting their knowledge to an unforeseen scenario


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