Taking Science Home

Reflexivity on Becoming a Teacher Insider in an Afterschool Science Program

Editor: Mark Enfield
This book narrates two teachers’ experiences creating and leading an elementary after-school science program at a public housing authority. The narrative employs a reflexive ethnographic approach to examine the reflections of each teacher during one academic year. The book explores the teachers’ understandings of socially just teaching, their pedagogical transformations, and a vision of how science as a discipline was important in terms of enacting a culturally sustaining pedagogy. The reflexive ethnographic perspective enables consideration of the implications of teachers’ positionality in teaching science to marginalized and/or underrepresented students in informal learning contexts.

Through these examinations, the book explains how collaboration was vital in the teachers’ efforts to become insiders in the setting and engage in culturally sustaining pedagogy. The book also narrates the teachers’ development leading to articulation of a framework identified as the zone of pedagogical potential. Finally, the book uses the teachers’ reflections to consider the affordances of learning science.

The book concludes with a discussion of the implications from this research for promoting equitable practices in informal settings, as well as the potential for those practices being useful in formal settings. Thus, the book should be of interest to researchers, teachers, educators, and students of education and in particular science education.

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