- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 1852139
- First Name Randall
- Last Name Groth
- Discipline Chemistry, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Jennifer Bergner, Starlin Weaver, and Gail Welsh
Randall E. Groth, Jennifer A. Bergner
Collaborative reflection on teaching practice is a powerful means of professional development for teachers. Our Noyce project seeks to foster such reflection during both the pre-service and in-service phases of professional development. We have developed strategies that foster collaborative reflection on practice during these phases. Several of the strategies, and their relationships to one another, are illustrated in the presentation. This set of strategies and the overarching model contribute to the overall body of research on fostering reflection-on-practice among teachers during conversations with one another in both synchronous and asynchronous settings.
The purpose of this work is to design, test, and improve strategies to foster collaborative reflection among Noyce Scholars, Interns, and mentor teachers from local public schools. The specific questions guiding the work are: (1) What strategies produce collaborative professional reflection about teaching practice in synchronous conversations? (2) What strategies produce collaborative professional reflection about teaching practice in asynchronous conversations? (3) How can strategies for producing collaborative professional reflection about teaching practice be improved to foster deeper reflective conversations?
Our approach to fostering collaborative reflection on practice begins with Japanese Lesson study (JLS). At the undergraduate level, Noyce scholars and interns in our project engage in JLS with each other and a public school mentor teacher. The research literature describes JLS as a process in which teachers collaboratively identify student learning goals for a lesson, plan a lesson to address the goals, carry the lesson out and carefully observe it, and then debrief on its effectiveness. Hence, JLS provides a rich site for collaborative reflection on practice. When Noyce scholars graduate and take positions in high-needs schools, we continue to have them engage in collaborative reflection on practice with one another in asynchronous online discussion forums. In these forums, they share and discuss ventures and vexations related to their beginning years of teaching. Noyce scholars also engage in reflection on practice during discussions with school-based mentor teachers about classroom observations. Our overall approach is to build collaborative reflection skills at the undergraduate level through JLS so Noyce scholars can continue to apply and develop those skills through the venture/vexation and mentor observation activities that occur during induction.
In this presentation, we include results from our published work as well as some work currently in-progress. We include our published protocols for facilitating JLS debriefing sessions and give an analysis of the types of synchronous reflective conversations they have encouraged. We also include analyses of asynchronous threads of discussion that have come about during venture/vexation discussions among Noyce Scholars as they begin their teaching careers. Additionally, we explain how we have used theoretical models of argumentation to analyze teachers’ conversations and how we are currently using the results of those analyses to further enhance the discussion prompts we pose and the conversation protocol structures we design.
The discussion prompts and protocols we present are broadly applicable to a wide range of teacher education programs. Our results illustrate that the strategies we have used are a viable means for fostering STEM teachers’ professional interactions with one another. Those responsible for teacher education at the pre-service and in-service levels can benefit from using and adapting the strategies to form supportive communities of practice among those they serve. In our own work, we continue to monitor the types of conversations that occur among our Noyce participants and make continuous improvements to our approach to optimize the levels of interaction observed. This process of continuous improvement and its results will continue to provide the impetus for future publications of our Noyce work.