Theses Doctoral

The Teaching of Science to Refugees in Greece: a Multi-site Case Study of Volunteer Educators in Non-formal Education Settings

Gillette, Erika Schaffluetzel

This qualitative multi-site case study examines the experiences of four volunteers serving as educators and their use of science kits in three separate non-formal refugee spaces located in Greece. They received professional development and materials to support their teaching of science. An adapted Teacher-Centered Systematic Reform (TCSR) framework was used to analyze the relationship between personal factors, teacher thinking, practice, and contextual factors. Data sources for this study were pre- and post-activity questionnaires, pre- and post-activity journaling, observations, and structured interviews. Each of the data sources was analyzed to develop an understanding of the volunteer educators’ personal factors, teacher thinking, teacher practice, and contextual factors to identify emerging themes. Emerging themes provided evidence to better interpret the experiences and perceptions of volunteer educators who used science-kits in non-formal refugee educational settings. These themes were then compared between and across each case to find similarities and differences between volunteer educators. This research contributes to both the field of science education and the preparation of volunteers in emergency education to teach science.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Gillette_tc.columbia_0055E_11075.pdf Gillette_tc.columbia_0055E_11075.pdf application/pdf 744 KB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Mensah, Felica
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
July 27, 2020