For decades, there has been a nationwide demand to increase the number of science teachers in K-12 education (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983; National Research Council [NRC], 2007). This demand is in large part due to increases in state science graduation requirements. Teacher preparation programs have been preparing new science teachers on pace with the resulting increase in demand (Ingersoll & Merrill, 2010), however, shortages have continued as up to 50% of these new teachers leave the profession within their first five years of teaching (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004), creating a “revolving door” phenomenon as districts scramble to address this early attrition with yet more beginning teachers. We need to address what Ingersoll (2012) describes as the “greening” of the teaching force: the fact that an increasingly large segment of the teaching force is comprised of beginning teachers who are at a high risk of leaving the profession. The three related studies that comprise this dissertation focus on the role of technological interventions for in-service and pre-service science teachers. The context for the first two studies is TIN, an online induction program for beginning secondary science teachers. These two studies consider the impact of technological supports on the reflective practice of participating teachers. The design interventions included VideoANT (an online video annotation tool) and Teachers as Leaders roles (a structured response protocol) for the Venture/Vexation online forum activity. The context for the third study is T3-S, a university licensure course for pre-service science teachers designed to explore technology integration in secondary science classrooms. This study investigated the impact of pre-service teacher participation in the creation of an Adventure Learning (AL) environment (Doering, 2006) on their understanding of technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK) and its role in their future science instruction. The supporting interventions took the form of three separate groups of pre-service teachers, each tasked with a specific role in the creation of the AL environment. Findings from the first two studies indicate that specific, explicit supports for teacher discourse in TIN activities is needed in order to foster the reflective practice that course designers and instructor-facilitators desire. The third study reveals that pre-service teacher participation in the creation of an AL environment supported their understanding of the nature of TPACK and allowed them to define their content-based technology pedagogy for future science instruction.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2015. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisors: Gillian Roehrig, Julie Brown. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 124 pages.
Develop, Discuss, and Decide: How New Science Teachers Use Technologies to Advance Their Practice.
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