Science Teacher Educators as a Community of Practice

Oct. 15, 2007

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education. October, 2007, Volume 18, No 5, pp. 693–697

A framework is proposed for what defines us as science teacher educators, so we can think more clearly about how to encourage active participation from a broader membership and guide the efforts of our potential partners in improving science teacher education.
The proposal defines various members of the community of practice and describes how each member can contribute to the community's success, considering participants such as college science faculty, K-12 science teachers, and preservice candidates.

With structure in mind, boundary objects need to be developed with the intended audience in mind to describe what they need to know and do that will facilitate the community's practice.
These include documents, artifacts and concepts that are needed to describe what potential partners need to know about educating science teachers and what they can do to help. 
A set of educative guidelines, when developed, will be an example of a boundary object.

Two goals are outlined in the proposal.
The first goal requires an understanding of our knowledge in practice – what do we know with our knowledge to make us effective science teacher educators.
The second goal is to think what we need others to understand about our competence.
What roles make sense for practicing K-12 teachers, school principals or college science faculty and what documents, artifacts or concepts should be developed and shared with college deans, school principals and community leaders. 
As a community of science teacher educators , we too can be thoughtful and clear about  our practice in ways that enable us to educate ourselves and others about science teacher education.

Updated: Feb. 19, 2008