1139 Views
  1. Rebecca Sansom
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Brigham Young University
  1. Heather Leary
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Brigham Young University
  1. Max Longhurst
  2. Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Utah State University
  1. Josh Stowers
  2. Assistant Teaching Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Brigham Young University

Developing the Pedagogical Skills and Science Expertise of Teachers in Unders...

NSF Awards: 2101383

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

We are working with rural biology and chemistry teachers throughout Utah to adopt 3D science instruction that incorporates disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices. Although their relative isolation would normally prevent them from collaborating, we bridge the geographic distance using technology-mediated lesson study to provide rich professional learning experiences. Teachers collaboratively design 3D science lessons, then iteratively improve them as they teach, share, receive feedback, and revise.

Together, we have three main goals: increasing the capacity of rural science teachers for 3D science instruction and strengthening their social networks, studying the process of technology-mediated lesson study to understand whether, how, and why it works to support professional learning, and producing a series of high-quality, culturally responsive, 3D science lessons that can be shared with teachers throughout the state and nation. 

We are studying the ways that technology-mediated lesson study influences teachers' practice qualitatively through observations and interviews. We are studying the changes to their professional support systems quantitatively using social network analysis. We have just begun this work and are currently in the first year of the project, looking forward to the first summer workshop and the following academic year of professional learning.

This video has had approximately 142 visits by 106 visitors from 73 unique locations. It has been played 71 times.
activity map thumbnail Click to See Activity Worldwide
Map reflects activity with this presentation from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase website, as well as the STEM For All Multiplex website.
Based on periodically updated Google Analytics data. This is intended to show usage trends but may not capture all activity from every visitor.
show more
Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (19 posts)
  • Icon for: Rebecca Sansom

    Rebecca Sansom

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 9, 2022 | 02:47 p.m.

    Welcome to our video, and thanks for coming to visit. We are very much looking forward to our discussion this week. We are just getting started with our project, and will host our first summer workshop this year. We'd love to know what you've learned about these things:

    1. Working in rural settings, applying principles of culturally responsive pedagogy in rural settings or with indigenous students.

    2. Using technology to connect teachers at a distance to each other, and support professional learning.

    3. Social network analysis--if you're using it, we'd love to connect about that too.

    We hope you enjoy the video, and that you'll connect us to your related projects.

  • Icon for: Nickolay Hristov

    Nickolay Hristov

    Facilitator
    Senior Scientist, Associate Professor, Director
    May 10, 2022 | 02:40 p.m.

     Hi Rebecca and Team!
    The reference to 3D science instruction caught me at first. I was expecting 3D printing and LiDAR scanning… A fine-print disclaimer might help the naive visitors ;-)  I have not done formal teaching in rural areas but I have designed professional development programs for informal learning in remote, outdoor settings - updating national park interpretation practices for 21st century audiences (i.e. training park rangers).

    We found shocking differences in on-the-ground dynamics at the different sites - at Carlsbad Cavern National Park, it was all about running the elevators (some of the highest in the world!) or shepherding visitors down the natural path. You can’t touch anything in the cave! Hands-on takes on a different meaning with these visitors.  Science learning takes a back row when these things are on the rangers’ mind.  At Acadia National Park, it was all about managing the auto traffic for the 3M+ annual visitors. But once on the trails, you could touch the maple and blueberries all you want. Maybe not the beavers!?  I wonder if you have or expect to see similar differences across the school districts.  

    On the technology front, we found that the very thing that visitors want, leave the city behind, made our work hard - WiFi or cell phone reception was spotty at best, and when there, it was SLOW.  We found it frustrating to develop interactive and visual content for network sharing.  I am wondering if there are similar analogies in your context and what you are prepared to do about it.

    A couple of words of advise - keep an open mind!  After the first round of PD at our sites, when program “graduates” started moving to other parks (because that’s what park rangers like to do) we thought the project was over. It turned out to be the best thing to happen to it - our project transformed from a regional scale to a national. Do rural teachers do that? Do they like to move around like park rangers? 

  • Icon for: Max Longhurst

    Max Longhurst

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
    May 10, 2022 | 02:56 p.m.

    Nickolay,

    Thank you for the comments about rural teachers.  It is interesting how regional phrases seem like they are the norm... "3D Science" 

    As in your case, we also see that providing professional learning often will take on unexpected spread.  In our case the technology seems to be fairly accessible to our rural teachers & they will be able to connect regularly with Zoom & other programs like Swivl.

    Rural teachers will often stay close to home if they were raised in a particular area, however, we did learn of one participant who is moving from one rural area to another.  Something to watch for as we continue to implement.  Currently, we are in our 1st year of development & starting our first summer of professional learning.  

    Thank you for your comments.

  • Icon for: Max Longhurst

    Max Longhurst

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
    May 10, 2022 | 02:41 p.m.

    Thank you for viewing our presentation on our work with rural science teachers.  Working with teachers, schools, & districts that are isolated by distance is a wonderful opportunity.  We are seeing how collaboration with peers in similar situations develops capacity & expertise in meeting learner needs.  These experiences are also developing teacher leaders who then give back to the local educational community. We hope you enjoy learning about our work.

  • Icon for: Paul Adams

    Paul Adams

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 10, 2022 | 05:03 p.m.

    Very interesting discussion of your project and use of technology.  The work you describe on studying social networking analysis is of interest to me.  If I understand your work is being done with practicing teachers.  Do you have any findings or pointers on how this might work or could enhance the work with preservice and beginning teachers?

  • Icon for: Rebecca Sansom

    Rebecca Sansom

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 05:17 p.m.

    Paul, thank you for your comments and questions. I think we can all recognize that lack of support is one reason why teachers might leave the career, with this being a bigger problem in rural schools. So, it's important to ensure that teachers have professional connections. I know with some Noyce programs, there is an extra effort made to create a cohort experience and establish connections among alumni, with some acting as mentor teachers, etc. And I think that's part of the same idea. If the teacher has someone to turn to when they have a bad day, or run into something they're not sure they understand, or need to bounce some ideas off of, that teacher is going to be in a better position professionally. 

    In terms of using the technology for preservice and beginning teachers, one potentially powerful idea is to use the Swivl to allow pre-service teachers to observe each other. This would expand their ideas about different instructional strategies, allow them to give and receive feedback from multiple people instead of just a supervising teacher or university liaison, and help create a sense of connection among the groups. It would be like micro teaching in a methods class, but on a bigger scale and in real-life classroom situations. 

  • Icon for: Sue Allen

    Sue Allen

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 06:52 p.m.

    This sounds like a wonderful project. I live and work in a rural area so I deeply appreciate the importance of educators building connections to mitigate feels of isolation and overwhelm. (and of course COVID made that far worse). I hope you'll have the research capacity to characterize not just the density of connections but the nature and depth of those connections - it may be that just having one or two deep colleagues makes a huge difference.

    Since this has such great potential as a program, I want to understand the model better: Aren't these teachers embedded in some kind of school or district-based structure as they teach and do PD? If so, how does that play out here? Are these groups of teachers who already work together, or strangers who teach the same grade band? Or is the PD across all grade bands? Research shows teacher professional learning is most effective when teams of teachers do it together at their school or district and can support each other, so is this model trying to create that kind of collaborative curriculum design across districts (given that many rural teachers are the only science teacher in their school)? That would be an amazing achievement! But then, you also talk about culturally responsive pedagogy so I wonder whether it's really going to be possible for teachers to do deep co-design across settings like that. 

  • Icon for: Rebecca Sansom

    Rebecca Sansom

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 11:48 a.m.

    Sue, thank you so much for your thoughts and questions. We are using a mixed methods research design so we will have the ability to characterize more than just the number of connections. We'll also be interviewing teachers to ask them about their professional support systems and their enactment of 3D science. And of course, the social network data is quite rich on its own. (We've just finished the first round of data collection for the first year and are beginning to analyze the data--we think it's fascinating!)

    The teachers are located within schools and districts, but the nature and structure of those schools and districts varies quite widely among the participants. This year, for example, we have one teacher who is the only science teacher in a 7-12 school on the Ute reservation. So he is pretty disconnected from other science teachers. Another teacher is one of 4 science teachers at his school, and has colleagues who also teach the same subject. There is quite a diversity of experience among rural teachers. 

    In terms of the participants, we are beginning this year with biology teachers. So everyone who participates is a secondary school teacher who teachers biology. Most of them do not know each other prior to participating in the program. Over the next few years we will expand to include chemistry teachers as well. Most of the teachers who participate teach multiple subjects, so there's some overlap there, but the difference will be which subject we focus on for the PD> 

    You are exactly right that we are trying to create that collaborative community even across geographic distance. We have just finished the pilot of technology-mediated lesson study this year, and our initial work supports the idea that teachers do create meaningful support networks, allow for vulnerability in observations, and work together to improve the lesson, all while developing their own understanding of 3D science teaching. 

    Your point about culturally responsive pedagogy is well-taken and we acknowledge that it may be a challenge. While some lessons might be very place-based, we hope that teachers will be willing to explore those ideas even if they are a little farther away geographically. We will see how this plays out over time.

    Thank you again for your thoughtful questions and comments. You've given us a lot to think about!

  • May 12, 2022 | 05:43 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work. It is wonderful to hear the testimony of the science teacher participants and the benefits they see in the project. I also work in a rural setting. A few of us engaged in somewhat similar work: We invited teams of mathematics, science, and intervention specialist teachers to a summer professional development program and supported their collaboration within and across schools over the following academic year. Our participants shared many positives about the collaborative nature of the program, the support and resources they found in each other, whether it was science/math specific or about their work more broadly. However, we found it difficult to sustain these relationships past the life of the project. What are your thoughts about strategies for sustaining the networks you are nurturing moving forward?

  • Icon for: Rebecca Sansom

    Rebecca Sansom

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 05:51 p.m.

    Danielle,

    Thank you so much for watching the video and for sharing your comments. You ask a really important question! We have planned to have some teachers continue on as Science Teacher Leaders after their first year so they can mento the next cohort, but that doesn't reach every teacher. There was a really interesting presentation on "modest supports" for teachers following PD that shows things like a monthly newsletter, a facebook group, monthly webinars, etc, can all help keep people engaged and keep up what they learned at the PD. So, thanks to that group, we'll be looking into incorporating those kinds of ongoing supports too.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Danielle Dani
  • Icon for: Sue Allen

    Sue Allen

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 12, 2022 | 09:26 p.m.

    Another aspect of the project I want to ask about is the "technology-mediated lesson study." Are you saying the teachers watch each other in real time, using the swivl? Or are they looking at recordings afterwards? And how do you manage the scheduling if everyone is watching everyone else? Are they watching a whole lesson? Do all the teachers have swivls or are they just on loan from the project? Lastly, it seems you're bringing teachers physically together, but isn't this challenging for rural teachers? Do you do any of it virtually? You can see I have lots of questions about the tech aspects - I lead a project that provides virtual coaching in rural areas so I'm curious about the way you structure the lesson study. Thanks! (https://stemforall2020.videohall.com/presentati...)

  • Icon for: Rebecca Sansom

    Rebecca Sansom

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 10:04 p.m.

    Hi Sue, Thanks so much for your questions! The swivl allows teachers to record their classrooms in a more effective way than a traditional video camera, because it records the teacher's voice and four student groups as well. The teachers aren't watching it live. As soon as the teacher is done with the lesson, they go in and make comments and self-reflections on the video, ask for feedback, or mark important moments that they want to talk about with their team. Then they push it out to the team. The other teachers watch the video, listen to the student groups, and also mark up the video recording. After everyone has left feedback and made comments, they meet as a team on zoom to discuss the lesson and brainstorm ways to improve it. They decide on what to revise, and then the next teacher teaches the revised lesson. The process repeats, and the lesson gets iteratively better. Eventually, they finalize the lesson plan and share it out with the community.  

    This cycle takes a couple of months, and then they come back for an in-person meeting on campus. The grant covers their travel--for some it is 300 miles away. So, we only do the in-person meetings four times a year. Because the in-person Friday-Saturday meetings are more intensive, probably about 1/3 of their total time spent working on the project is in-person, and 2/3 is virtual. 

    The travel can be challenging for teachers. We've only just started with our first group of four science teacher leaders this year, who each come from one of the rural regions of the state. We've been able to make it work for them so far, but there have been a couple of times that something came up with family or other issues that made it hard for them to attend in person. We also had an issue with a snow storm that forced us to do one meeting planned for in-person virtually instead. We'll have our first cohort of 16 teachers this summer, and I think that's when we'll start to see what the challenges are.

  • Icon for: Josh Stowers

    Josh Stowers

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Teaching Professor
    May 12, 2022 | 10:03 p.m.

    Hi Sue! Thank you for the follow-up questions. I am a Co-PI on this project. With the technology-mediated lesson study teachers work together to design a lesson then one of the teachers teaches it in their own classroom. They record the lesson using Swivl. We have tried to keep a quick turnaround on the feedback. They notify other teachers when they have posted and reflected on the lesson. The other teachers then watch the recording and provide feedback on the lesson prior to them meeting again virtually to make adjustments to the lesson. They then repeat the cycle with another teacher teaching the lesson. One of the challenges is getting the timing right so that teachers are able to teach the lesson in sequence with the units they are teaching in their classrooms.

    Each of the teachers has access to their own Swivl in their school or receives one on loan from the project. Our teachers met in person for a 5-day summer workshop and then on a Friday/Saturday 4 times throughout the school year. In between the in-person meetings they met virtually to discuss the lessons they had initially worked on.

    We found that once our teachers got to know each other through the in-person meetings, they opened up and allowed themselves to be quite vulnerable, allowing others virtually into their classroom. I loved the way they all grew in both content and pedagogical knowledge.

  • Icon for: Sue Allen

    Sue Allen

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 13, 2022 | 10:06 a.m.

    Thanks Rebecca and Josh for all this detail - super helpful for our work too.

  • Icon for: Cynthia Crockett

    Cynthia Crockett

    Researcher
    May 16, 2022 | 06:14 p.m.

    Hello team, thank you for highlighting the ongoing issues that occur in  rural education settings. They are often beyond the scope of understanding if you have not experienced these settings. I live in a district comprised of 9 rural towns, one of which does not have broadband Internet even. The students  (and teachers ) had a disproportionately difficult time during COVID remote learning. This sounds like a very useful means of reaching rural teachers and learners! Thank you for your work! 

  • Icon for: Heather Leary

    Heather Leary

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2022 | 06:21 p.m.

    Thank you Cynthia! We feel it is so important to reach all teachers and so often rural teachers do not have as much support as urban and sub-urban teachers. We are excited from what we have done this last year and for what we are doing in the coming years.

  • Icon for: Rebecca Sansom

    Rebecca Sansom

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 16, 2022 | 06:22 p.m.

    Cynthia, thank you so much for sharing your experience. One of the outcomes we hope for most is that our rural science teachers will find colleagues and create a social support network that will help them feel more like part of a professional community. It won't erase the challenges they face, but hopefully will help them find more creative ways to overcome them. 

  • May 17, 2022 | 01:05 p.m.

    This is fantastic! As someone who conducts rural outreach and education in Utah, I am pleased to see the work you are putting forth to engage and develop our teachers (and students) in these effective teaching (and learning) processes. Something we've found at AmericaView (and is very much true in Utah) - is the challenges faced by teachers when they are asked to add "one more thing" to their curriculum and classroom activities. I do fear that current teachers, as well as pre-service teachers, encounter significant overload on a daily basis. Therefore, what you are doing is critical in building skills, resources, and networks. Well done! I look forward to connecting with you further!

  • Icon for: Rebecca Sansom

    Rebecca Sansom

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 17, 2022 | 02:19 p.m.

    Hi Christopher, Thank you for your comments. I think overload is a serious concern. I actually just spoke with a teacher this week who was supposed to come participate this summer and she said "I'm stretched so thin, I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep teaching." It's a challenge for this type of work because on the one hand, we're asking for a big time and energy commitment, but on the other hand, we are potentially making life better in the long run by creating some professional support. Glad to connect with another Utahan! 

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Members may log in to post to this discussion.