Jessica Watkins

Vanderbilt University

This project considers how teachers’ engagement in scientific sensemaking as an opportunity for teachers’ learning to support more expansive science learning environments. It seeks to address two ongoing challenges in science teacher education: the need for teachers to learn (1) to recognize, value, and integrate students’ diverse ways of knowing, communicating, and relating with one another and phenomena and (2) to acknowledge and disrupt restrictive narratives that shape what counts as science in schools and who is seen as a scientist. This project will provide new models for science teacher education to engage teachers in expansive scientific sensemaking, seeking to develop more humanizing relationships between teachers, students, and science. More broadly, the project will produce a new structure for professional learning and resources for supporting more heterogeneous and equitable forms of science in teacher education. 

Vanderbilt University

This project explores how classroom conversations can engage children in making sense of the problems that they are addressing and foregrounding ethics while making design decisions. To provide children with opportunities to engage in rich classroom conversations, the project team uses a community-based engineering curricular approach, where students address problems that affect their local school communities.

Tufts University

This project will research how elementary (K-5) teachers in the Teacher Engineering Education Program (TEEP) program progress in one particular aspect of responsive teaching, noticing student thinking. Project research will also contribute to literature on how to support responsive teaching in web-based environments, expanding understanding of how design principles and features developed in in-person professional development settings can be implemented online. The project will refine a program for engineering teachers nationwide, identify key features that are effective in developing teachers' practice, and create video resources for other professional development programs to use.