ERIC Number: EJ1132097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Urban Elementary Science Teacher Leaders: Responsibilities, Supports, and Needs
Wenner, Julianne A.
Science Educator, v25 n2 p117-125 Win 2017
The challenge of science achievement gaps is one that scholars have struggled to solve. Teacher leadership holds great promise in closing those gaps. Therefore, the purpose of the research reported here was to explore the responsibilities and supports of formally designated science teacher leaders (STLs) in urban elementary schools that have been successful in closing science achievement gaps. Using York-Barr and Duke's (2004) review on teacher leadership as a framework, findings from this study indicate that urban elementary STLs emphasize certain dimensions of practice (e.g., building partnerships) while deemphasizing or even omitting others (e.g., working with preservice teachers). Findings also indicate that a positive culture that supports STEM education, a principal that works with the STL yet encourages autonomy, control over scheduling, and training for the STLs seem to best support STLs. Finally, it appears that STLs would benefit from more targeted training and evaluation measures, and an STL network. Given that this study took place in schools that have been successful in closing science achievement gaps, these findings have implications for schools that wish to employ STLs to promote more equitable science achievement.
Descriptors: Urban Schools, Elementary School Science, Elementary School Teachers, Science Teachers, Leadership Responsibility, Science Achievement, Achievement Gap, Teacher Leadership, Science Education, STEM Education, Professional Development, Semi Structured Interviews
National Science Education Leadership Association. P.O. Box 99381, Raleigh, NC 27624-9381. Tel: 919-848-8171; Fax: 919-848-0496; Web site: http://nsela.org/publications/science-educator-journal
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1119349