Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Paper presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching: Orlando, FL.


Copyright (c) 2011 Elizabeth Lewis.


This study provides greater detail concerning how science teachers did, or did not, use a professional development model of a scientific classroom discourse community with their students. Two biology teachers, Cathy and David, from the same urban high school were the subjects of two case studies. Identity was used as an analytic lens to consider teachers in the dual contexts of their classroom environment and professional development. Over time, as Cathy adopted the inquiry-based instructional practices she learned at the professional development seminars, her professional identity became more aligned with the norms and affinity group teaching philosophy and instructional practices of the professional development. David seemed to enjoy his interactions with the professional development, but ultimately, as seen in observations of his science lessons, he adapted the professional development strategies to fit his prior, more traditional mode of teaching. Consequently, Cathy moved away from her pre-professional development institution identity that was more aligned with the high-stakes testing culture of her school where skill-and-drill, cookbook activities were valued for rote learning. David's affinity identity remained aligned with his institution identity and the professional development had little effect on his instructional practices.