Graduation Year

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ed.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Allan Feldman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Darlene DeMarie, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Laura Sabella, Ph.D.

Keywords

clinical internship, culturally responsive, equity, preservice teacher

Abstract

As the demographics of public K-12 schools continue to shift towards a wider representation including students of color and students from low-income households, it is critical for new secondary science teachers entering the field to be prepared to teach science that is culturally responsive to their students’ needs and communities. As teacher candidates continue their pedagogical growth while in their final clinical internships in high-needs schools, there is great potential for the university supervisor to support their development within a social justice framework. By encouraging and supporting teacher candidates to include culturally responsive approaches in the biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science classrooms, students gain multiple perspectives for learning and integrating science content into their everyday lives.The purpose of this self-study was to investigate how my work as a university supervisor promoted an agenda for social justice awareness, advocacy, and activism with secondary science teacher candidates. Through the analysis of the data collected in this self-study, I sought to answer three key questions: 1) What practices can I, as a university supervisor, implement to promote awareness, advocacy, and activism (AAA) for social justice with secondary science teacher candidates? 2) In what ways do these practices promote awareness, advocacy, and activism (AAA)? 3) What have I learned about my supervision for AAA for social justice based on my experiences with secondary science teacher candidates?

Key findings from this self-study indicate supervision practices that can contribute to the development of science teacher candidates who become committed to establishing an equitable classroom that seeks to empower all students including students of color and from low-income households. I found that by implementing the following supervision practices, I was able to cultivate the science teacher candidates’ awareness and agency for developing the skills, knowledge, dispositions, assumptions, and high expectations for students of all racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds: 1) establish and maintain an open and trusting relationship with the teacher candidates, 2) incorporate targeted focus on social justice within the science teaching, 3) utilize problem-solving in challenge situations as entry points for investigation of inequities, 4) network with others in the field and community to expand the resource pool of ideas and strategies, and 5) reflect on the work of supervision with intention to shift approaches to best support the teacher candidates.

Through the process of self-study, I discovered the power of data analysis and synthesis of my reflections to enhance my own deeper understanding of supervision of science teaching within a social justice framework. Self-study encouraged me to review and reframe all aspects of the relationship with the teacher candidates, thus revealing areas of new learning as well as missed opportunities that heightened my own awareness of and confidence for future supervision for social justice in science teaching. As a result of this process, I present implications for the field of social justice and science supervision as well as recommendations for continued research in supervision of science teacher candidates.

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