Theses Doctoral

Forming Science Teacher Identity: the Role That Identity Plays in Designing Learning Goals and Classroom-based Formative Assessments

Larson, Kristen Victoria

Most science teachers in public schools across the nation are young, White women entering classrooms that are increasingly racially and culturally diverse. While the science classroom is becoming increasingly diverse, science careers continue to be exclusive of students of color, women, and English language learners. Assessments, as pedagogical practices, are the most impactful gatekeepers in determining the successes or failures of all students in science. Therefore, teacher-designed formative assessments serve to construct or damage student science identity. It is important to better understand how teacher-designed assessments represent science teacher identity so that we can better understand how they influence student science identity.

In the following research study, I examine the narratives shared by four early-career teachers around their development of science teacher identity and navigation around developing formative assessment practices in their classrooms. In this work, I use a reflective practice lens to examine how science teacher identities are co-constructed during completion of a preservice performance assessment and during one induction year and how those identities inform the ways that teachers set goals for assessment. Through the interpretation of data sources including interviews, observation notes, portfolio assessments, and inquiry groups, I present the experiences, identities, and values in setting goals for assessments that four early-career science teachers shared. Across these data sources, I draw attention to findings around a) the language and positioning that the participants shared as they grew into their roles as science teachers; b) the ways that participant identities informed their goals for assessments and student learning, and c) the ways that teacher-designed formative assessments represented the identities of four early-career middle and secondary school teachers. I conclude with implications for teacher education strategies for building responsive and reflective assessment practices, for teacher education support for science teacher identity construction, and future research around identity in teacher education portfolio assessments.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Mensah, Felica
Riccio, Jessica Fitzsimons
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
July 28, 2020