Stories from the Field: Exploring Culturally Responsive Science Teaching in a Pilot Study

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Wallace, J., Howes, E., & The Culturally Responsive Education Professional Learning Group (2020). Stories from the field: Exploring culturally responsive science teaching in a pilot study. Paper accepted for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual Meeting, Portland, OR. (Conference cancelled).



This qualitative study is designed to explore teachers’ inquiry into and practice of culturally responsive science education in the high-needs schools in which they teach. Through collaborative inquiry with six teachers in a professional learning group, we explore what culturally responsive education (CRE) can look like in science classrooms. We employ ethnographic methods as participant-observers and use a case study design. Data includes group meeting notes and observations, teacher interviews, and collaboratively designed artifacts. Throughout the pilot year, the CRE group met regularly to study culturally responsive education, share and analyze teaching experiences, and develop culturally responsive instructional strategies. This paper focuses primarily on “Stories from the Field,” a conversational routine at each meeting where teachers shared observations, thoughts, and insights about their classroom, instruction, and school settings in the context of CRE. We describe three emerging themes: 1) Positionality, 2) Systemic constraints and supports, and 3) Making science content and the science learning community culturally responsive. 



For more information, contact Jamie Wallace or Elaine Howes.