Hadwin, A., & Oshige, M. (2011). Self-regulation, coregulation, and socially shared regulation: Exploring perspectives of social in self-regulated learning theory. Teachers College Record, 113(2), 240-264.
Chi, M. T., & Wylie, R. (2014). The ICAP framework: Linking cognitive engagement to active learning outcomes. Educational Psychologist, 49(4), 219-243.
Review: An Exploration of Teacher Learning From an Educative Reform-Oriented Science Curriculum: Case Studies of Teacher Curriculum Use
An Exploration of Teacher Learning From an Educative Reform-Oriented Science Curriculum: Case Studies of Teacher Curriculum Use
Marco‐Bujosa, L. M., McNeill, K. L., González‐Howard, M., & Loper, S. (2017). An exploration of teacher learning from an educative reform‐oriented science curriculum: Case studies of teacher curriculum use. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(2), 141-168.
This study sought to examine the effective use of an educative curriculum - that is a curriculum designed to help teachers learn about their subject and pedagogy in addition to serving as the basis of classroom instruction. The study was a case study focusing on five middle school teachers with varying experiences with science teaching and educative curriculum. Grounded in the organizational theory of sensemaking, the methodology was mixed-method and included videos of teacher performance, interviews and a survey. The study concluded that an educative curriculum may be effective at increasing teacher learning, but varies dependent upon both professional development preparation and personal teacher attributes.
The research questions were explicitly described:
Intent of the Study:
The study was designed to explore to components of educative curriculum use: to develop understanding of how educators use an educative curriculum - one that is designed help teachers learn, as well as form the basis of classroom instruction, and to develop an understanding of the factors influencing that use.
Theory Used to Support the Research:
Organizational theory’s sense making was clearly identified as the framework for the research.
The literature review was moderately thorough. The review focused on three aspects: educative curriculum, scientific argumentation, and organizational theory’s conceptual framework of sensemaking. Of these three, sensemaking received the least attention, but this is perhaps because it is fairly well established. Nonetheless, it could have been more thoroughly elaborated. Both educative curriculum and scientific argumentation were described thoroughly and referenced with substantial literature.
Participants in the study included five middle school science teachers, across three schools, with varying experience levels and experience with the sort of educative-reform oriented curricula examined in the study. The participants were selected with primary thought to their proximity to the researchers, however they were intentionally selected to produce variation in education context and teacher experience.
The study was a mixed-methods approach relying on five case case studies to explore the varied ways in which science educators utilize a piece of science curriculum to conceptualize instruction. The study incorporate three forms of data collection: videos of teachers during instruction, interviews with teachers, and pre- and post- assessments. Qualitative data was obtained via videos, interviews and open-ended survey questions, and quantitative data was collected via multiple-choice responses on the pre- and post- assessments.
Video analysis was used to code teacher activities with alignment of the curriculum, and inter-rater reliability was assessed using a two-way mixed average-measures intraclass correlation. Interviews were analyzed and coded using three methods
The study had two primary conclusions: The first conclusion was that even given the opportunity to utilize a curriculum in which their own learning occurs, the teachers may instead only use the curriculum to support current student learning. This suggests that these teachers either willfully ignore the educative aspect of the curriculum or are unaware of it. Second, that educators who do actively engage in their own learning while modifying curriculum to suit the context of their classroom make learning gains.
The results of the study suggest that educative curriculum can be valuable to increase teacher - and consequently, student - learning, however certain needs must first be met. The authors suggest that teachers who are able and willing to engage with the educative curriculum need time to reflect and incorporate their learning into teaching practices, and that those educators who are not able and willing need further professional development to understand the value of educative curriculum in improving their practices. The results of the study suggest there are remaining questions about the viability of educative curriculum, and encourages further research into how appropriate professional development can best prepare teachers for its use.
This study aligns with my own Problem of Practice in three aspects. Firstly, the theoretical framework of the study is organizational theory’s sensemaking. At present, sensemaking is the theoretical framework that I’m intending to utilize in my action research study. Secondly, the context of the study is middle school science teachers, and their effective use of curriculum; my Problem of Practice is the effective implementation of the NGSS. Finally, the conclusion of the research suggests that appropriate teacher development practices are key the effective use of curriculum for the intended purposes.
I feel the study has one significant weakness in that the case study utilizes a small sample size (n=5), that is not representative, and so consequently the results are not as generalizable as would be preferable. It should be noted that the authors describe an effort to diversify the sample, but the selection was still limited to a fairly small geographic region. Additionally, the two teachers who demonstrated the least enactment of the curriculum were also the two teachers with the least amount of experience in science and/or in science teaching - generally. The paper, I feel, does not adequately address this correlation which may bear significantly on the results.
The strength of the study is that it does demonstrate a variety of factors which influence the effectiveness of an educative curriculum. That the research is based on case studies allows for a more descriptive and nuances understanding of those factors. Additionally, the study has brought forward the understanding that teacher learning goals should be more explicit, and professional development aligned with better use of educative curriculum may prove valuable and worthy of additional research.
Brinkmann and Kvale (2010) posit these 10 criticisms of the qualitative research interview in their text, InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Interviews.
The qualitative research interview is NOT:
Kvale, S., & Brinkmann, S. (2009). Learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing. Thousands Oaks: Sage Publications.
On the Chasm that Divides: Why Education Researcher and Education Practitioner Don't Get Along.
A few choice nuggets from Jay Lemke's 2000 article, Across the Scales of Time: Artifacts, Activities, and Social Meanings in Ecological Systems:
“We might say that it is a semiotic articulation of a person’s evaluative stance toward interactions.” (p. 283)
“Our ontogeny recapitulates their phylogeny, up to a point. But only up to a point, and less so as developmental pathways come to be guided more by social interaction and culture-specific semiotic information supplied after birth.” (p. 284) ← Lemke probably won a bet with this one, “I’ll bet you can’t sneak ‘ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny’ into a peer reviewed journal article.”
“...even take a reflective perspective in the activity and see our own role in it; that is, we can frame a separated “me” from the viewpoint of this new dynamical “I.” Reflexivity is itself an instance of heterochrony.” (p. 285)
“Traditional macrosociology has resorted, after the manner of Latour’s “centers of calculation,” to assembling statistical data and to recognizing that it does so in a positioned way.” (p. 288).
Should anyone still be ignorant as to the reason of the perpetual divide between educational researcher and education practitioner?
I’d be hard pressed to find a single classroom teacher that would make it through the first two pages. Consequently, I’ll summarize the entire piece for the layman before proceeding:
The human experience exists of multiple and intertwined systems which interact over differing timescales.
Done. And, you're welcome.
The idea to consider time scales across ecosocial systems is an extension - or variation on the work of Karl Weick presented in his piece, Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled systems, published in 1979. Lemke, however, approaches the loose coupling of systems from a chronological perspective rather than from an organizational one. The end result is the same: Education is complex and there is no way - seemingly - to be able to anticipate or account for all interactions. Lemke (2010) states, “We cannot study such a system from more than a few of the many viewpoints within it, and we honestly do not expect all these viewpoints to fit consistently together.” (p. 288) whereas Weick asserts, “Loosely coupled worlds do not look as if they would provide an individual many resources for sense making…” (p. 13) which is to say that indirect parts of a system are extremely challenging to understand.
The adiabatic principle and heterochrony are fancy ways of communicating something that most educators who have been in the classroom for any significant period of time understand instinctively: Sometimes the things we do in the short term have little to no consequence on the long term (adiabatic principle), and sometimes long-time established (or large scale) issues have immediate impact on the short-term (heterochrony). An example to the former would be an explanation or instruction given by a teacher which - for whatever reason - does not result in consequential learning by a student, and in the former a large system reform which requires changes in pedagogy.
The application to the educator is that one must seek awareness of both the small and short scale events as well as the large and longer term events and consider their impact on the learning of an individual. Simultaneously, the educator must also consider how these events act in systems - both as parts of smaller systems themselves, but also as parts of larger systems. In the case of the classroom teacher, the chief concerns are the events and systems operating most directly on the student.
With my own PoP, the aforementioned example of heterochrony is apt. The NGSS is a large scale reform, expected to have both far-reaching and long-term consequences. The standards, themselves, though are such that adherence to the intent of the NGSS has immediate consequence for pedagogy (heterochrony). Which is the entire reason why it is a problem in the first place: while most educators have no problem with the long-scale shift towards inquiry based teaching, more concept-based and skills-based learning and assessment, in the short-term, they are faced with significant challenges to what they are already doing in the classroom.
Lemke, J. L. (2000). Across the scales of time: Artifacts, activities, and meaning in ecosocial systems. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 7(4), 273-290.
Weick, K. E. (1976). Educational organizations as loosely coupled systems. Administrative science quarterly, 1-19.
Consequently, any change seen in student performance data over the course of one year may very well be the result of cultural, attitude, or other shifts within the environment, not necessary a direct result of a curricular change. To gauge the overall value of a curricular change, one would have examine students pre- and post- k-12 schooling - a period of at least 12 years - and would also need to have a control group of ‘old curriculum’ students assessed in the same time period.
Sadly - as many teachers would be quick to tell you - educational reforms tend, themselves, to have a lifespan shorter than 12 years. Those ideas which were at once seen to be the next greatest idea in improving standards, personalizing learning, incorporating technology, and increasing academic achievement are quickly replaced by the next best idea. To the educator, it seems as though a few basic ideas have been recirculated and regurgitated with new vocabulary every so many years, as the next generation of doctorates and educational researchers find their voice.
This vicious cycle stemming from the mismatch of the 12 or 13 year education span of k-12 students, and the successions of repackaged and regurgitated education reforms, speaks at once to both the challenges of chronology in education as well as the systems nature of education. Indeed, education an endeavor which must consider both the time spans upon which it exists, and also the multitude of systems in which it is intertwined.