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Leadership in the classroom: Perspectives of science educators in El Paso, Texas

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Keywords
  • Education
  • Bilingual And Multicultural|Education
  • Administration|Education
  • Sciences
Disciplines
  • Education
  • Law

Abstract

Science teachers' contributions and the impact they have made in and out of the classroom have been overlooked by many educators, legislators and policy makers regarding science reform. Curriculum and state mandated exams are the focus of science reform in the state of Texas. As science teachers have a role in deciding how students are taught and served, the importance of having a voice in how reform is decided upon and implemented is critical in order for science reform to be long lasting and effective. ^ Qualitative methodology was used to discover the perspectives of four science teachers and their roles as leaders in the field. As primary sources of information, through interviews and classroom observations, they reflected and discussed the phenomena of leadership in the classroom—a phenomenon that is rarely addressed and often times criticized for not meeting the expectations of legislators and policy makers concerned with student and teacher accountability by way of passing test scores on standardized exams. The study addresses three concepts, (1) what are the skills needed in the area of science education and how science teacher roles affect colleagues, administrators and students; (2) how do science teachers shape science reform efforts by adapting and interpreting standards to meet the needs of their students through instructional practices; (3) how do science teacher leaders view their roles and the impact these roles have on leadership and reform in the field of science education. These questions help describe the efforts of classroom science teachers to improve science instruction from kindergarten to high school levels. ^ The perspectives of the four respondents along with their colleagues and administrators helped to describe the phenomena of leadership in science education on the border city of El Paso, Texas along with the implications for allowing leadership in the classroom to be a driving force in science reform initiatives and implementation. ^

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