- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1660557
- First Name Dennis
- Last Name Sunal
- Discipline Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics
Dennis Sunal, Cynthia Sunal and Hakim Hawkins, Nathan McDonald (LIST Fellows), University of Alabama
Responding to classroom student needs during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020-2022 Noyce fellows highlight virtual science teaching strategies utilized. The Developing Leaders in Science Teaching (LIST) Noyce Track 2 program’s aim is to fast-track participants in a strong clinically-based certification and intensive induction program with an emphasis on developing skills in engaging diverse students plus moving its teachers from mentored novices to teacher leaders in the education community.
The data gathered from LIST fellows focused on the question, “How did secondary science teachers’ instructional methods change for diverse instruction due to the pandemic?”
Data were collected from fifteen secondary science teachers using self-recorded video presentations, think-tank conversations, and an open-ended Qualtrics survey asking participants to describe their teaching experiences. These teachers were tasked with virtual teaching, face-to-face teaching, and sometimes hybrid instruction to meet the needs of remote students in light of the limitations and safety protocols due to Covid-19. They reviewed and adopted a variety of established products and strategies such as Nearpod, Labster, Flipgrid, flipped classroom, and just-in-time teaching for example.
Findings from this research study demonstrated the value (necessity) of collaboration and networking during this transitional time in the teaching field. Working with professional learning communities and cooperating/mentor teachers, the LIST fellows moved beyond thinking from a single face-to-face format to a mixed instructional approach or a wholly digital mindset. The impact was the implementation of a transformative pedagogy to keep secondary science students engaged. In conclusion, the collaboration and networking between this cohort of secondary science teachers elicited beneficial changes to instructional methods for shifts to remote instruction, hybrid teaching, virtual labs, & digital literacy.
With a focus on developing skills in engaging diverse students the broader impact was on moving the LIST program’s teachers (fellows) from mentored novices to teacher leaders in the education community.