Title

Shared Experiences and Discovery on the Science Teaching Journey: a Voyage of Discovery for Two Science Teachers

Location

3030

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

January 2016

End Date

January 2016

Abstract

In this paper I examined how two “highly qualified” novice secondary science teachers came to their chosen profession, and how they perceived teaching science during this time of induction. My data includes interviews, observations, and artifact collection, which I analyzed using portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Hoffmann Davis, 1999). In addition, I used my experience as teacher/researcher from “within” the school district. The portraits presented illustrate the experiences and motivations of their entry into teaching public school science. Their experiences, challenges, and individual approaches are metaphorically compared with Lewis and Clark’s “Voyage of Discovery.” As the teachers set out “blazing a trail” directed toward promises for the future, they become a Meriwether Lewis accompanied by a William Clark and seeking assistance from a Sacagawea.

I found that during the novice teacher’s voyages, they demonstrated love for students and education combined with a desire to “give back.” They also expressed a love for science content, namely biology, as they revealed fulfilment in pursuit of teaching biology. Although both teachers felt their affinity for biology drove them into teaching, they saw teaching life skills a more important aspect of their job than teaching content. This shared emphasis on relative importance existed in an environment of mandated subject assessments. Questions raised by this study include what will happen on their journey as they respond to concerns regarding over-assessment of students and teachers, and how their voyages compare with traditionally certified teachers.

Lawrence-Lightfoot, S., & Hoffmann Davis, J. (1999). The art and science of portraiture. Harvard Educational Review, 69, 489-490.

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Jan 15th, 3:15 PM Jan 15th, 3:35 PM

Shared Experiences and Discovery on the Science Teaching Journey: a Voyage of Discovery for Two Science Teachers

3030

In this paper I examined how two “highly qualified” novice secondary science teachers came to their chosen profession, and how they perceived teaching science during this time of induction. My data includes interviews, observations, and artifact collection, which I analyzed using portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Hoffmann Davis, 1999). In addition, I used my experience as teacher/researcher from “within” the school district. The portraits presented illustrate the experiences and motivations of their entry into teaching public school science. Their experiences, challenges, and individual approaches are metaphorically compared with Lewis and Clark’s “Voyage of Discovery.” As the teachers set out “blazing a trail” directed toward promises for the future, they become a Meriwether Lewis accompanied by a William Clark and seeking assistance from a Sacagawea.

I found that during the novice teacher’s voyages, they demonstrated love for students and education combined with a desire to “give back.” They also expressed a love for science content, namely biology, as they revealed fulfilment in pursuit of teaching biology. Although both teachers felt their affinity for biology drove them into teaching, they saw teaching life skills a more important aspect of their job than teaching content. This shared emphasis on relative importance existed in an environment of mandated subject assessments. Questions raised by this study include what will happen on their journey as they respond to concerns regarding over-assessment of students and teachers, and how their voyages compare with traditionally certified teachers.

Lawrence-Lightfoot, S., & Hoffmann Davis, J. (1999). The art and science of portraiture. Harvard Educational Review, 69, 489-490.