1. JESSICA THOMPSON
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Building professional capital in elementary science teaching through a district-wide networked improvement community model
  4. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/
  5. University of Washington
  1. SARAH CLANCEY
  2. Research Associate
  3. Building professional capital in elementary science teaching through a district-wide networked improvement community model
  4. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/
  5. University of Washington
  1. Kelsie Fowler
  2. Doctoral Candidate, Research Assistant
  3. Building professional capital in elementary science teaching through a district-wide networked improvement community model
  4. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/
  5. University of Washington
  1. Caroline Long
  2. Doctoral candidate, researcher
  3. Building professional capital in elementary science teaching through a district-wide networked improvement community model
  4. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/
  5. University of Washington
  1. Christopher Mangogna
  2. Research Assistant
  3. Building professional capital in elementary science teaching through a district-wide networked improvement community model
  4. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/
  5. University of Washington
  1. Olga Mashnitskaya
  2. Research Assistant
  3. Building professional capital in elementary science teaching through a district-wide networked improvement community model
  4. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/
  5. University of Washington
  1. Anastasia Sanchez
  2. Research Assistant
  3. Building professional capital in elementary science teaching through a district-wide networked improvement community model
  4. https://ambitiousscienceteaching.org/
  5. University of Washington
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Christopher Mangogna

    Christopher Mangogna

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 9, 2022 | 10:19 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our video! We wanted to center the voices of elementary teachers who, in partnership with us, have been learning how to cultivate racial and educational justice through their science teaching. Their reflections shed light on their growing critical consciousness and instructional practices that have shifted to consider what counts as science, who science is for, how science can attend to the world’s injustices, and which practices will scaffold for full participation in classrooms while also attending to critical dimensions of equity. 

    1. What ideas did you hear from teachers regarding how their own positionality, as well as ways of thinking about science and society have shifted? Why are these shifts important when trying to cultivate racial and educational justice? 
    2. What questions do you have about the model we used to support teachers' in taking up more critical and cultural approaches to elementary science? 
    3. How does our project align or differ from your own work/aspirations? Any big takeaways? Any learnings or connections?
    4. At the heart of this partnership is the Social Focus Framework, which has three major dimensions: Critical Consciousness, Critical Liberatory Presencing and Matters of Consequential Concern. What do you center in your work and why?
  • May 10, 2022 | 08:39 a.m.

    Thank you for this important work. I would love to hear some examples of the authentic science work with students and how you position these ideas in science that connects with students' lives.

     
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    Christopher Mangogna
  • Icon for: Christopher Mangogna

    Christopher Mangogna

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 11, 2022 | 02:53 p.m.

    Thank you for the comment and engaging question. The authentic science work with students all started off with teachers doing the heavy lifting of unpacking these ideas through intensive Learning Labs and one-on-one instructional support. The arch of their learning naturally evolved into taking a critical look at our instruction and curriculum. Through the Social Focus Design Process we were able to collectively design learning experiences for students that are described in the Social Focus Framework. 


    A recent authentic science example we implemented with second grade teachers was a Multispecies Interconnectedness & Relationships unit on Seed Guardians. The learning was developed to engage students in thinking about the consequential concern of loss of seed diversity and the impact and role of animals and humans on seed dispersal and sustainability. This Social Focus attended to students’ prior learning by creating science investigations on variables that threaten seeds, while simultaneously positioning students as change makers. Critical & Liberatory Presencing was done with the inclusion of content on Seed Guardians from Latin America, Africa and Black farmers in the United States. Students were able to use their own life experiences, connections, and knowledge with seed cultivation and protection to connect school science to their families, communities, and cultures.

  • Icon for: Karen Woodruff

    Karen Woodruff

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 01:34 p.m.

    Thank you for engaging in and sharing thei important work with us. In my own work I hear many teachers state what Jessica Brady stated at the end of the video...teachers were not trained as antiractist science teachers in most teacher education programs. The more we share examples of how communities of practice can support one another in thinking about and enacting antiracist teaching, the more we will move the needle in truly educating all students. I am interested in the Social Focus Framework as a tool for centering this work - thank you!

     
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    Kelsie Fowler
  • Icon for: Kelsie Fowler

    Kelsie Fowler

    Co-Presenter
    Doctoral Candidate, Research Assistant
    May 11, 2022 | 02:50 p.m.

    Karen, thank you for watching our video! Jessica's statement also stands out to me as a common reflection we hear from teachers across our partnership--Teachers are not only saturated in a society perpetuating and swimming in White Supremacy Culture and racism, but they are rarely, if ever, given the opportunity to unpack the inherent racist and colonial systems undergirding education. For me, one of the most powerful aspects of the Social Focus framework has been the dimension of "Critical Consciousness" (shout-out to Anastasia Sanchez for developing the Social Focus). Our team designed the PD cycles and our work with teachers to begin here because we believe that essential to changing the education is first noticing and critically interpreting the system and also their individual powerful positionalites as perpetuators of harm and disruptors of educational injustice. We did this by explicitly unpacking the role of science (and science education) through a critical historical lens, with pauses for personal and communal reflection of how these histories have/are impacting curriculum, instructional practices and our individual ideas about science/science learning. Then, our group layered on thinking about what it would mean to ground science teaching/learning in the other two dimensions (Critical Liberatory Presencing and Matters of Consequential Concern) by examining who and what are centered in current curriculum and discussing what should be taught in/through science. Together these dimensions created a powerful map for teachers to not only inspect their current practice but also create new curricula and reflect (individually or in community) on their teaching. 

    If you have more specific questions, we'd be happy to answer them! 

     
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    Amy Robertson
  • Icon for: Christopher Mangogna

    Christopher Mangogna

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 11, 2022 | 03:19 p.m.

    We appreciate the kind comment and interest in the Social Focus Framework. I see Kelsie already responded to you but for a bit more context about the Social Focus Framework, it was created by one of our brilliant team members Anastasia S. Sanchez. The initial idea originated in a Middle School partnership with science educators who were concerned about students' lives and realities not being reflected in science learning. It has since grown to the district and teacher level. The design of the Social Focus Framework is to help educators design lessons with intentionality to develop students’ critical consciousness, attend to matters of consequential concern and embed critical liberatory presencing of Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. 


    Check out this partnership (Link) to explore how this can be an opportunity to center the Social Focus Framework in an Elementary Ed RPP.

     
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    Amy Robertson
  • Icon for: Max Longhurst

    Max Longhurst

    Researcher
    May 10, 2022 | 03:05 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work.  In our project in rural areas of Utah we are working to include a social focus for our participants as they often work with indigenous populations.  Understanding how social networks develop from school-based experiences may be helpful as we all think about the intersection of educators in rural settings & the populations that they serve. 

    https://videohall.com/p/2481

  • Icon for: Christopher Mangogna

    Christopher Mangogna

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 11, 2022 | 03:33 p.m.

    Appreciate that you are seeing some connection to your own work! We’d love to know more about the “social focus” you are using in your work! How are these topics chosen? How are these topics explored with students? How do you all presence your local Indigenous communities in liberatory ways that honor their expertise? Asking because these are always questions we are asking ourselves and juggling :)

    Also, our project is not centered in a rural setting but we’d love to know more about what you are noticing or wondering about how social networks develop differently in rural settings. We do strive to center the students and communities over centering the school as we work to shift the traditional narrative of how schools are positioned in our communities. Our goal is to always elevate the expertise of Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in our network but this definitely comes with challenges and constraints. We’d love any ideas on how to approach this work differently.

  • Icon for: Brian Foley

    Brian Foley

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 09:51 p.m.

     This sounds great. I would love to hear more about how you are helping the teachers examine their practice and positionality. How does the community model work?

  • Icon for: JESSICA THOMPSON

    JESSICA THOMPSON

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 07:25 p.m.

    Thank you for the question, Brian. We have two learning pathways for teachers, one with deep engagement and curriculum development (N=30 teachers) and one that meets 5 times per year (N=40 teachers). Each pathway has similar content that engages teachers in examining curriculum and instructional practice with an anti-racism and anti-colonialism lens. We have engaged teachers in examining their positionality as white teachers and teachers of color, and have done audits of how this positionality influences what and how we teach elementary science. We as a research team are continuously examining our positionality and how this plays a part in professional learning. Our professional learning model also includes 1-on-1 coaching in classrooms and grade-level professional learning communities.

     
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    Brian Foley
  • Icon for: Ann Cavallo

    Ann Cavallo

    Facilitator
    Assistant Vice Provost and Director
    May 11, 2022 | 05:23 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful project and video. Similar to Brian's question above, what do you use/what are your methods to help your teachers recognize implicit bias and how to mitigate potential implicit/unconscious bias in teaching and promote equity? Also, do you integrate topics such as intersectionality and stereotype threat in science teaching? How are you measuring/evaluating outcomes of this project and possible shifts or change among teachers and their teaching? Are you measuring possible impacts on student science learning and affective outcomes? Thank you!

  • Icon for: K. Renae Pullen

    K. Renae Pullen

    Facilitator
    Science Specialist
    May 12, 2022 | 12:28 p.m.

    I appreciate your focus and approaches. How have you engaged with the administrators in the school as you conduct this work?

  • Icon for: Olga Mashnitskaya

    Olga Mashnitskaya

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 13, 2022 | 06:53 p.m.

    Thank you so much for this question! While our engagement with school leaders has been limited we have invited principals to partner with us to co-observe and debrief social focus lessons. We are hopeful that we'll engage more principals in classroom observations in the coming months to both support their learning and consider how to deepen and expand this approach to instruction within their building. We are also working on an observation tool to support principal learning and instructional leadership now that teachers are shifting their practices to take up science in more critical ways. In the meantime, we have kept leaders updated through newsletters and personal emails sharing the work being done by their teachers and students! 

     

    While our partnership with school leaders is still in the very early phases, we have been working with district leaders both in Edmonds and in other districts through our Educator Series. The Educator Series involves five professional development sessions throughout the year where teachers dive into this critical content and start trying things out in their classrooms. We have invited district leaders into this space to consider how they can apply this approach to science in their own roles in both their support for teachers and school leaders. We know that expanding and sustaining anti-racist and anti-colonial teaching will take leadership at multiple levels of the system and we are working to foster the learning and commitment needed to support teachers instructional practices.  

  • May 12, 2022 | 06:21 p.m.

    I am very interested in your work and the framework that you have developed. I can see how it builds on and integrates the ideas of rightful presence, cultural relevance, teaching science for social justice, among others. My questions are about logistics of implementation. For example, were you working with teachers from different schools simultaneously? Or teachers within one school only? I am guessing your starting points were standards, or what else did you use? Did the whole team of teachers and PIs develop the content or a subgroup? Thanks.

  • Icon for: Olga Mashnitskaya

    Olga Mashnitskaya

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 13, 2022 | 07:38 p.m.

    Great questions! We have teachers participating in the project from 19 out of the 21 elementary schools and 4 choice schools in the current district we are working with. Your standards question is a good one! The project was not focused on unpacking or learning about the standards but rather having the standards come in when we were discussing justice centered phenomena and student interest. The content for professional development was developed by part of the research team, primarily Anastasia Sanchez and Kelsie Fowler. The lesson resources were developed by the research team and participating teachers.

  • Icon for: Amy Robertson

    Amy Robertson

    Researcher
    May 12, 2022 | 08:14 p.m.

     I am so excited by all of this and many of my questions were asked and answered above.  I'm going to pass this on to a team of folks I know is working on integrating equity and the physics teaching of energy; I know they'll be interested.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kelsie Fowler
  • Icon for: JESSICA THOMPSON

    JESSICA THOMPSON

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 06:43 p.m.

    Thanks Amy =) Nice to hear from you! 

  • Icon for: Ann Cavallo

    Ann Cavallo

    Facilitator
    Assistant Vice Provost and Director
    May 15, 2022 | 01:33 p.m.

     Nice project, interested learning more about your approaches in designing your curriculum.

  • Icon for: JESSICA THOMPSON

    JESSICA THOMPSON

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 17, 2022 | 07:36 p.m.

    We have engaged teachers in looking critically at the curriculum- noticing ways in which it addresses/fails to address justice-centered phenomena and looking at if/how the curriculum attends to the rightful presence of BIPOC communities and knowledge. Teachers and researchers have written curricula that center on justice-centered phenomena and have thought about how to engage students in conversations about multi-species justice and representation in STEM, for example. Ultimately we are helping teachers shift curriculum so they can shift their instruction and we can create more expansive opportunities for students to learn. 

  • Icon for: Clausell Mathis

    Clausell Mathis

    Researcher
    May 16, 2022 | 03:51 p.m.

    This is a great presentation!!

    I am curious, in working with the in-service teachers, were they able to merge critical and social concerns within the science content they were teaching? If yes, are there any short examples? 

    Also, how was the curricula integrated? Was it used initially when you were introducing a scientific idea, or after the idea was introduced? 

  • Icon for: JESSICA THOMPSON

    JESSICA THOMPSON

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 17, 2022 | 07:43 p.m.

    Hey Clausell =) Thanks for your comments, friend. We are helping teachers think about issues of social justice alongside the standards and their knowledge of their students and their communities. Much of the standard curriculum does not engage students in thinking about climate change, for example, yet we know that young children reason with these issues and share a deep concern for animals and the environment. So some of the units center on multispecies justice and caring for the environment. We always start with the justice-centered phenomena, then pull in relevant science ideas and standards. 

  • Icon for: Sunni Newton

    Sunni Newton

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 17, 2022 | 11:33 a.m.

    Thanks for this excellent presentation. The teachers' description of how the program has enhanced their teaching were particularly compelling. I'm curious to hear about any program goals and outcome measures you used to gauge the program's impact. It seems that much of this work is focused on teacher pedagogical change. Are there any student outcomes you focused on? Thanks very much for any insight you can provide regarding these questions. 

  • Icon for: JESSICA THOMPSON

    JESSICA THOMPSON

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor
    May 17, 2022 | 07:49 p.m.

    Sunni, thanks for noticing how teachers are reasoning. We are looking at how teachers enter into social justice work, what are their starting places? For example, entry points include having justice-centered phenomena, examining one's own identities, and elevating BIPOC voices. We are looking at student outcomes, such as their experiences in classroom conversations, but mostly we are focused on the way in which teachers learn to notice race, equity and justice/injustice in their classrooms, then supporting them in taking action. 

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