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Volume 18  Issue 2  

Teachers and Technology: Present Practice and Future Directions

by Isha DeCoito & Tasha Richardson
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Technology cannot be effective in the classroom without teachers who are knowledgeable about both the technology itself and its implementation to meet educational goals. While technology use in the classroom is increasing, improving learning through its application should remain the goal. In this study, the authors explored 74 middle school teachers’ beliefs about and use of technology through a technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) lens. They sought to understand how middle school teachers use and perceive technology in practice and the factors influencing their pedagogical decisions to incorporate technology into their practice. Data included surveys, administered after a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach program and teacher interviews. Findings revealed that both internal and external barriers were present and influenced how teachers situated their pedagogy in terms of technology integration. It was also found that teachers were confident in content, pedagogy, and technology; however, most viewed technology as a tool rather than an embedded part of the learning process. This study contributes knowledge about professional development initiatives and the need to address not technology knowledge as much as the interdependence of technology, pedagogy, and subject content matter.

Volume 18  Issue 1  

Leveraging Analysis of Students’ Disciplinary Thinking in a Video Club to Promote Student-Centered Science Instruction

by Tara Barnhart & Elizabeth van Es
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Recent policy reports and standards documents advocate for science teachers to adopt more student-centered instructional practices. Four secondary science teachers from one school district participated in a semester-long video club focused on honing attention to students’ evidence-based reasoning and creating opportunities to make students’ reasoning visible in practice. Although all participants expressed value in attending to students’ ideas and shifting autonomy to students in the classroom, they experienced varying levels and types of integration in their practice. Analysis revealed that teachers’ goals and commitments influenced the incremental ways in which participants integrated learning from the video club. Sustained and substantial changes to practice likely require support through multiple cycles of shifting visions of what is possible, coupled with collaborative attempts to work through challenges of implementation.

Volume 18  Issue 1  

Examining the Quality of Preservice Science Teachers’ Written Reflections When Using Video Recordings, Audio Recordings, and Memories of a Teaching Event

by Brendan Calandra, Laurie Brantley-Dias, Johnathan Yerby & Kadir Demir
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A group of preservice science teachers edited video footage of their practice teaching to identify and isolate critical incidents. They then wrote guided reflection papers on those critical incidents using different forms of media prompts while they wrote. The authors used a counterbalanced research design to compare the quality of writing that participants produced when they had access to either their edited video clip of the incident, audio from the clip only, or their memory of the incident alone while writing. All reflection papers were evaluated using a rubric developed by Ward and McCotter (2004). An analysis of variance among paper scores showed that participants wrote significantly higher quality papers on several indicators when prompted by video than when prompted by audio. There was also a difference in means between their reflections when prompted by video and when they worked from memory alone.

Volume 18  Issue 1  

Video-Enhanced Training to Support Professional Development in Elementary Science Teaching: A Beginning Teacher’s Experience

by Christine Hamel, Anabelle Viau-Guay, Luc Ria & Justine Dion-Routhier
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Elementary teachers are expected to teach complex and authentic lessons and integrating multiple disciplines. In so doing, they must take many elements into account, such as disciplinary content, learning standards, and pedagogical knowledge, in an ever more complex environment, including pupils’ increasingly heterogeneous characteristics. Our study aims to understand a beginning teacher’s classroom activity in the context of a research-training program involving the use of video. The teacher involved was observed giving a science lesson (on buoyancy in a fourth-grade classroom) and then took part in two interviews involving self-confrontation with researchers at 1-week intervals, returning to the classroom between these interviews. Specifically, this article presents a program aimed at training and mentoring a beginning elementary school teacher using video recordings of her classroom activities in Quebec, Canada. The analysis describes the teacher’s experience during this training process. In particular, the results indicate that the teacher’s participation in this training program changed her concerns related to science education at the elementary level. Her focus shifted from classroom management (e.g., managing hands-on activities in science education and pupils’ interactions) to supporting an approach favoring scientific inquiry that truly engages pupils and is anchored in sociotechnical controversies.