Exploring The Positional Identities Of High School Science Teachers
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentAdvanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy
ProgramDoctor of Education
RightsThis item is made available by Morgan State University for personal, educational, and research purposes in accordance with Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Other uses may require permission from the copyright owner.
SubjectsScience--Study and teaching
The identity of the teacher has been determined to influence classroom practices. Positional identity is defined as one's perception of self relative to others. This qualitative research study investigates the positional identity of five high school science teachers of different ethnicities and how their positional identities influence their classroom practices. Positional identity is thought to be determined by one's perception of how one's race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion and socioeconomic status position one relative to others. The methods of data collection included classroom observations, structured and semi-structured interviews, book club meetings, teacher journals, and researcher journals, demographic and online questionnaires. The teachers that overcame stereotypes based on race/ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status felt empowered in their positional identities and were able to empower their students. The data also identified those teachers that struggle the most with finding their power within their positional identities were the immigrants that were not able to merge their personal identities within the pre-determined social positions they encountered in this society. The empowerment or powerlessness of the science teachers' positional identities impacted instruction and practices within the science classroom.