Wearing the Letter Jacket: Legitimate Participation in a Collaborative Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education Reform Project

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This study examines one NSF‐funded Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation and describes the complexities of such a science education reform effort. A theoretical model based in community, culture, and identity is used to address key questions: How did institutional ideologies, structures, policies, and practices influence the Collaborative's success? What unique problems were associated with the university and school partnership? How did K‐12 teachers' participation affect their development and the success of the Collaborative? Findings indicate that though K‐12 participants were deemed as “pedagogy experts” and shared the inquiry‐based culture espoused in the Collaborative, they felt both as project insiders and outsiders. This was due to issues of status between university faculty and K‐12 teachers; teachers' less‐than‐active role in the Collaborative; and the constraints and narrow focus that resulted from long‐established institutional, social, and political structures and that marginalized, delegitimized, excluded, and proved unattractive to teachers.

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School Science and Mathematics, v. 103, issue 3, p. 121-134