- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1852889
- First Name Natalie
- Last Name King
- Discipline Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematics, Other:STEM Education, Physics
Christine D. Thomas
Natalie S. King, Georgia State University
Duncan (2011) states, “the conditions in which our students live must be understood for teachers to be effective” (p. 310). We implemented CAMP as a component of the year-long clinical experience in alignment with Jackson and Bryson’s (2018) work describing community mapping as a way of telling a neighborhood’s story and identifying local assets, networks, and opportunities. Teacher candidates gathered information about the local community to understand social, economic, and educational conditions. These systemic factors influence students’ experiences within the classroom and provide a comprehensive lens to approach education that addresses issues of power, privilege, and opportunity disparities
In this presentation we share the components and results of a Community Asset Mapping Project (CAMP) in which pre-service teachers became familiar with local schools and communities. The CAMP was embedded within a federally-funded scholarship program whose goals are to: (a) recruit and prepare STEM professionals who are willing to remain as highly-effective teachers in high-need secondary schools, and (b) engage in robust professional learning experiences for teacher leadership. The guiding question for our study is to what extent does preservice science and mathematics teachers acknowledge assets within a community as an instructional strategy to influence students’ experiences within the classroom?
This study put Yosso’s (2005) community cultural wealth (CCW) model in conversation with Love’s (2019) concept of abolitionist teaching. CCW examines the under-utilized assets that Black and Brown students bring into the classroom and illuminates the potential to transform current school climates. It acknowledges aspirational, familial, social, linguistic, resistant, and navigational as the six forms of capital that work together to support Black and Brown students as they navigate the current monovocal school climate. In our goal of developing science and mathematics abolitionist teachers, we foregrounded the importance of learning about the community in which they will teach. Abolitionist teaching includes locating the source of student suffering and ensuring that classrooms deconstruct rather than perpetuate harm to promote equity in teaching and learning (Love, 2019). This study focused on teacher candidates who were fellows in the STEM Teacher Leadership program. Twenty-three science and mathematics Teaching Fellows were engaged in this project. An embedded single case study was conducted within a larger study examining the recruitment and preparation of STEM teachers (Yin, 2003). The overall data were collected within clusters to crystallize themes around the community asset mapping project (Ellingson, 2009). Data sources included the projects, subsequent presentations, and feedback from university supervisors. Constructivist grounded theory was the analytical approach
Major findings of this study revealed that (a) teacher candidates recognized various forms of capital that existed within high-need schools and communities and sought to honor this wealth within their placements; (b) the CAMP was instrumental in contextualizing and humanizing STEM teaching and learning for Black and Brown children; and (c) participants embraced the concept of abolitionist teaching and understood their roles in disrupting the educational survival complex.
To provide more equitable STEM learning experiences, teacher candidates must receive opportunities to think beyond the classroom curriculum. Learning about the surrounding community helps them to create more humanizing spaces that validate students’ cultures and whole beings.