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From Visible to Understandable: Designing for Teacher Agency in Education Data Visualizations

by June Ahn, Ha Nguyen & Fabio Campos
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In the United States, teachers are expected to analyze data to inform instruction and improve student learning. Despite investments in data tools, researchers find that teachers often interact with data visualizations in limited ways. Researchers have called for data interpretation training for preservice teachers to increase teachers’ interactions with data visualizations, but training alone may not be enough to spur pedagogical insights. Research suggests that helping teachers build personal connections with data may foster their own agency. However, little is known about how to provide agency-developing experiences for teachers more efficiently that respect both the time and resource constraints that teachers face in their daily work. This article presents a design experiment that explored whether giving preservice teachers the choice of which data to visualize impacted their connections with data. When compared with a control group who were not offered the chance of choosing their data (but only received data interpretation training), the authors found that participants who experienced the agency intervention reported a deeper connection with the underlying meanings of educational data. This intervention provides foundational evidence that facilitating agency-developing experiences may help educators to develop deeper sensemaking about educational data.

A Professional Development Model to Integrate Computational Thinking Into Middle School Science Through Codesigned Storylines

by Quentin Biddy, Alexandra Gendreau Chakarov, Jeffrey Bush, Colin Hennessy Elliott, Jennifer Jacobs, Mimi Recker, Tamara Sumner & William Penuel
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This article describes a professional development (PD) model, the CT-Integration Cycle, that supports teachers in learning to integrate computational thinking (CT) and computer science principles into their middle school science and STEM instruction. The PD model outlined here includes collaborative design (codesign; Voogt et al., 2015) of curricular units aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that use programmable sensors. Specifically, teachers can develop or modify curricular materials to ensure a focus on coherent, student-driven instruction through the investigation of scientific phenomena that are relevant to students and integrate CT and sensor technology. Teachers can implement these storylines and collaboratively reflect on their instructional practices and student learning. Throughout this process, teachers may develop expertise in CT-integrated science instruction as they plan and use instructional practices aligned with the NGSS and foreground CT. This paper describes an examination of a group of five middle school teachers’ experiences during one iteration of the CT-Integration Cycle, including their learning, planning, implementation, and reflection on a unit they codesigned. Throughout their participation in the PD, the teachers expanded their capacity to engage deeply with CT practices and thoughtfully facilitated a CT-integrated unit with their students.

The Tip of the Iceberg: Immaterial Labor, Technoskepticism and the Teaching Profession

by Erin Adams, Elizabeth Wurzburg & Stacey Kerr
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This paper reports an analysis of the work of teaching in the wake of the profound and swift transformation of the educational landscape due to the global crisis of Covid-19 as well as concrete suggestions for teachers and teacher educators related to the labor they are expected to perform. Ultimately, the aim of this article was to discuss how understanding the immaterial labor of teaching, the labor that creates value but is often intangible and unseen, can prepare teachers to recognize and possibly resist what might get counted as best practices in the new normal that is and is to come. The authors use the concept of immaterial labor to expand on and complement technoskepticism, a recognition that technology is not neutral and has exploitive and antidemocratic tendencies and, therefore, must be approached with appropriate caution.