Type of Document Dissertation Author Balinsky, Martin George Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-06302006-173005 Title Forging an identity: four science doctoral students in a collaborative partnership with K-12 science teachers Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Middle and Secondary Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Nancy T. Davis Committee Chair Penny J. Gilmer Committee Member Peter S. Ray Committee Member Sherry A. Southerland Committee Member Keywords
- Doctoral Students
- Science Education
- Border Crossing
Date of Defense 2006-06-15 Availability unrestricted AbstractA primary conflict regarding the identity of science education is the competition between those emphasizing science aspects of science education versus those who emphasize the education. I examine a National Science Foundation funded program at “Southern State University” (pseudonym) known as the GK-12 Project that placed science doctoral students into K-12 classrooms, where they worked with practicing science teachers. My research question was: How do GK-12 Fellows forge an identity through their experiences as both teachers and doctoral students?
I used the “hermeneutic dialectic circle”, a process whereby I interviewed each stakeholder in turn, and conducted member checks. My primary sources were interviews, and my primary subjects were four Fellows. One of the Fellows, José, left the program after one year.
The other three in my study, Wanda, Rebecca, and Nathan, remained for all three years. The starting point for their learning was admitting what they did not know. These three learned about science outside of their fields because they learned how to learn. They also took an interest in and enacted making connections to students. In negotiating two cultures, the Fellows achieved heightened awareness of the SSU science culture’s current practices in college science teaching, particularly the problems. They noted the ineffectiveness of the didactic delivery style and the lack of formative assessment. These three Fellows manifested rational and pluralistic worldviews.
Because of his frames that were derived from growing up under an authoritarian government in Cuba, José experienced the program differently than the other three Fellows. For José, his identity as a scientist and as an educator remained more static, as he identified more with the authoritarian outlook on education espoused in SSU’s science departments. The science culture at SSU is centered in the authoritarian value structure sees a need for a "fixing" of education, to improve "poorly prepared teachers" and "low standards" in schools. I argue that the best approach to education is one that transcends and includes both the authoritarian as well as the rational and pluralistic models.
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