Science Education

Integrating Flip in the Science Classroom: A Case Study of an Elementary Preservice Teacher’s Learning Through a Coaching Partnership

by Nancy Sharfun & Karl G. Jung
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The switch to remote teaching and learning consequentially pushing educators in rapid adaptation of technology platforms has made it essential to build knowledge and understanding of how elementary teachers learn to use various technology tools to enhance student learning. For effective science instruction and sustaining student engagement, preservice science teachers need to know the proper utilization of technology tools, and coaching partnerships can assist them in achieving that goal. Utilizing a single case study design, this study focused on understanding a preservice elementary science teacher’s implementation of Flip (formerly Flipgrid) in a third-grade classroom, specifically, exploring how this preservice elementary science teacher, with the help of her instructional coach, learned to implement Flip to reinforce her students’ engagement through 5E learning experiences. Findings shed light on her transition while incorporating Flip into her classroom, where it started as a challenging task but gradually evolved into a more successful implementation. This paper demonstrates the detailed trajectory of how the preservice science teacher learned to implement the tool. With guidance, practice, and resources, Flip manifested as a supportive tool for engaging students with their science content.


Current Practice

Use of Online Hybrid Supplemental Teaching in Field-Based Teacher Education Programs

by Hank Bohanon, Wenjin Guo & Christopher Dickman
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University faculty members who implement field-based teacher education programs experience challenges providing instruction for clinical, site-embedded university-based students. These issues can include a lack of common times to meet with students, limited access to meeting space to provide direct instruction, and changes in the school schedule. A number of these barriers may be addressed by adding elements of online instruction to traditional in-person classes, making the course, in effect, a hybrid one. In this study, the researchers analyzed the perspectives of university-based, special education focused instructors and clinical partners on the barriers, needs, benefits, and content related to implementing hybrid instruction in field-based settings. The hybrid content would supplement special education teacher education candidates’ learning as they developed their skills for supporting students with special needs. Five university faculty members and two field-based PK-12 partners involved in special education teacher preparation participated in in-depth, open-ended phone interviews. Data analysis included identifying themes using a constant comparative qualitative approach. The participants recommended several supports they considered necessary for using technology to teach their students successfully. Rather than a temporary pandemic measure, the authors suggest that hybrid instruction offers a promising approach to support preservice teachers in the field going forward.

Literacy Clinics During COVID-19: Pivoting and Imagining the Future

by Barbara Laster, Rebecca Rogers, Tiffany Gallagher, D. Beth Scott, Sheri Vasinda, Pelusa Orellana, Joan Rhodes, Theresa Deeney, Rachael Waller, Mary Hoch, Leslie Cavendish, Tammy Milby, Melinda Butler, Tracy Johnson, Shadrack Msengi, Cheryl Dozier, Shelly Huggins & Debra Gurvitz
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Literacy clinics have a long history of providing supplemental assessment and instruction to students with literacy needs, but they were tested during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many pivoted from a face-to face format to three-way remote learning. This study provides a window into how literacy clinics at this moment of transformation in education embraced, and in some cases were challenged by, technology. A survey was administered in spring 2021 to a sample of 58 literacy clinic directors from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, The Netherlands, and Australia. Data analysis included quantitative descriptive and inferential statistics reporting on the use of technological platforms and resources, clinic settings, and the format of clinics, before, during, and anticipated after pandemic. Results suggest that clinicians retained some traditional instruction methods while moving some components to digital spaces. Qualitative analysis included (a) coding, (b) creating categories, and (c) developing profiles of respondents based on their prepandemic and postpandemic instructional delivery format. Survey responses conveying the challenges and opportunities of online instruction are discussed in accordance with technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge. This research captured the precipice of institutional change as literacy clinics responded to the pandemic and then recalibrated their intentions for the future.

Using Mixed Reality Simulations to Prepare Justice-Oriented Teachers

by Dawn M. Woods, Linda Doornbos & Cynthia Carver
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This qualitative study investigated how mixed-reality simulations supported the development of justice-oriented core teaching practices within a large elementary education program. Told from the point-of-view of two methods instructors, using candidates’ written and oral reflections, the authors examined the use of Mursion® mixed reality simulation software as a tool for rehearsing to teach content through a justice-oriented lens. Three themes emerged from the words of the teacher candidates in the focus group, as well as in their written reflections after completing each of the simulation cycles during their coursework: (a) simulations provided a safety net for students (and their teachers) in PK-12 schools; (b) simulations made the learning of these core practices focused on skill development (versus classroom management) and thus less messy; and (c) simulations provided a safe space to apply justice-oriented lenses while engaging students in content. Simulations augmented the candidates’ field experience, while providing a window on their development as teachers committed to becoming change agents enacting just and equitable learning. Implications and the limitations of using simulations to support teacher candidate learning are discussed, particularly when the goal is teaching for equity.