English/Language Arts Education
In 2021, the authors pivoted their university’s Literacy Clinic to online to continue providing literacy services to educators, K-12 students, and families during the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and continuing systemic racism. Alongside of the educators in the Literacy Clinic, they wondered how they would engage students in literacy lessons that would further their agency with literacies in a digital setting while also navigating connectivity, devices and platforms, and the concomitant grief of living in an era of ongoing racial injustices and COVID-19. This paper focuses on a case study of a teacher’s journey designing critical literacies online. Data sources include recorded literacy lessons, artifacts of student and teacher learning, and reflective documents. The extended case analysis attended to emergent and fluid meanings made across texts, interactions, and time. Over the course of 12 weeks, one educator’s pathways with teaching critical literacies online transformed as she built relationships with her student and his mother, centered inquiry, and scaffolded her student to design a public service announcement. In data-rich vignettes that capture the complexity of critical literacy episodes that cross media spaces, the authors illustrate the transformation of meanings across time, model, and space. This case provides a window into an online critical literacy teaching, an experience that has largely been out of focus.
The science teacher education community plays a prominent role in teacher preparation programs. Particularly, science methods courses emphasize modeling instructional strategies to promote inquiry-based practices. Integrating appropriate educational technology to enhance and support classroom practices should be embedded in these courses. The recommendations in this paper, specific to science methods, consist of designing the proper use of educational technology using three domains: (a) supporting the process of learning, (b) catalyzing the acquisition of information, and (c) communicating acquired knowledge. The three proposed domains are illustrated at different levels of the PICRAT technology integration model (Kimmons, 2016), with examples that can be quickly adapted to both elementary and secondary science methods courses. The authors aim to help inform science methods instructional practice, the design of related activities, and the application of education technology.
Objects to Think With
This paper describes use of a linear motor as a starting point for introducing related electricity and magnetism concepts. The Linear Motor Laboratory consists of a series of mechanisms and student learning activities centered around a reconstruction of the Charles Page Electromagnetic Engine patented in 1854. This work was undertaken in the Make to Learn Laboratory at the University of Virginia in consultation with the curators at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The original patent model in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution was used as a reference for modern-day reconstructions. Instructions for fabrication of a linear motor and associated Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) files are available in the Educational CAD Model Repository.
The technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) framework describes seven domains of knowledge that teachers rely on for teaching with technology. The framework includes an eighth element labelled “contexts,” representing the situated nature of instruction. This latter construct has been inconsistently represented and defined across the literature as well as interchangeably considered both the settings surrounding teachers’ TPACK and an additional domain of knowledge. Disentangling these two conceptually different constructs and viewing context as a domain of knowledge may be a crucial addition to teachers’ TPACK, given that teachers’ abilities to account for contextual complexity is a feature of teaching expertise. This systematic review focused on the literature addressing context specifically as a domain of knowledge (XK) of TPACK. Database searches retrieved 675 records, of which 47 contained substantial references to XK and were retained for final analyses. Findings present XK as a complex construct described by three levels (micro, meso, and macro) and three dimensions (social, resources, and content). Based on these findings, the authors discuss the structure of XK and propose an extension of the TPACK framework for promoting a more systematic approach to TPACK as a situated construct relevant for research on teacher expertise and teachers’ professional development.
Power, privilege, and prejudice are embedded within technologies. While technologies can be designed and used for democratization and empowerment, they can also be used to undermine the foundations of democracy in a variety of ways. Using a conceptual framework of technologically embedded injustice, the authors engaged in a theoretical analysis of just technology integration in the preparation and professional development of preservice and in-service teachers. They investigated why the field of educational technology has been historically slow to incorporate critical approaches, in general, and in teacher education, in particular. They argue that educational technology’s roots are deeply influenced by US policy prioritizing technology for purposes of defense and capitalism. They further suggest that big tech’s surveillance capitalism and privatization of education creates a troubling tendency to overlook systemic power imbalances. The analysis suggests that educational technologies are tools of the oppressor, made by the oppressor, with power baked into their designs. As a result, they propose a clearer definition of “just technology” and suggest four intersecting approaches to move toward justice: turn toward critical approaches (e.g., critical theories); revise standards to make systemic change; wrestle with the role of education and technology in a democracy; and interrogate educational technologies. Their definition is not definitive, and their recommended practices serve as springboards, not walls. This work has been lacking in teacher education and educational technology and may open discourse, lines of inquiry, and new interpretations of justice in educational technology.
Despite the benefits of open pedagogy, its use in K-12 schools remains limited. Through this study, the authors examined the lack of open pedagogy usage in schools and potential barriers through the lens of teacher candidates’ (n = 29) experiences with open pedagogy assignments. Within this qualitative study, the authors defined open pedagogy and utilized identity building and significance building tools to examine teacher candidates’ perceptions of two different open pedagogy assignments. Candidates in one section worked on these assignments in a small group, while candidates in another section worked individually. Notable differences were observed among the candidates’ responses that highlight the importance of opportunities for collaborative open pedagogy practices within teacher education programs. This analysis supports the field’s understanding of ways teacher candidates’ experiences might impact their use of open pedagogy assignments in the future, and, therefore, the advancement of open practices in schools. Implications highlight how open pedagogy in teacher preparation programs have the potential to increase equity-oriented practices in K-12 schools. From this analysis, recommendations are drawn for those who strive to increase equitable learning environments through open practices.