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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

Fall 2014

First Advisor

Allan Feldman

Second Advisor

Martina Nieswandt

Third Advisor

Morton M. Sternheim

Subject Categories

Teacher Education and Professional Development

Abstract

This qualitative case study examines how a journal club can be used as a pedagogical tool in science teacher education. Six preservice and inservice science teachers, for seven months, participated in a journal club where they chose, read, and discussed science education research articles from problems or concerns they had in their teaching practice. The data included field notes, audio-recordings of meetings, pre- and post- interviews with all the teachers, two focus groups, artifacts collected (e.g. journal articles, reflective paper, e-mail exchanges, and researcher’s field notes). The data were analyzed using the techniques of grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). Unlike grounded theory, I also used preconceived categories created from existing literature on journal clubs and communities of practice (Newswander & Borrego, 2009; Tallman & Feldman, 2012; Wenger, 1998). The findings reveal the journal club functioned as a community of practice where the teachers learned how to search for and critique research articles and participated in discussions that examined the implications of educational theory to their practice. The teachers engaged in scholarly talk. Scholarly talk was defined as using three modes of collaborative discourse: critically analyzing a research article, sharing teacher anecdotes, and weighing different perspectives through exploratory talk. In the journal club, these conversations helped the teachers learn about their teaching practice and reflect on how to bring changes to their practice. It is through the collaborative conversations in the journal club that all the teachers began to examine teaching through a new lens. The findings suggest the teachers embraced the educational theory read in the journal club. They welcomed being scholars in the journal club and forming a professional network among inexperienced and experienced science teachers. The journal club provided the teachers the tools to engage with intellectual concepts and become critical thinkers and consumers of theoretical knowledge.

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