Teacher, Researcher, and Accountability Discourses Creating Space for Democratic Science Teaching Practices in Middle Schools. Buxton, C., A.; Kayumova, S.; and Allexsaht-Snider, M. Technical Report
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This study explores the role of competing discourses that shape current practices in U.S. schools and how professional development efforts can support teachers and researchers in finding ways to reinsert more democratic processes into their collaborative work. We examine the case of one research and professional development project with the goal of supporting middle school science and ESOL teachers in fostering more meaningful science learning for all their students but especially their English language learners. Using Gee's notion of big-D discourses and Fairclough's notion of interdiscursivity, we trace how the Discourse of accountability, the Discourse of science teaching, and the Discourse of education research, each constructed by different stakeholders for different purposes, may become interdiscursive and hybridized through interaction over time. Excerpts from interviews and conversations with participants during the various components of our project highlight both the challenges and the possibilities of teachers retaining or regaining agency in their classrooms within and against the structures of the accountability Discourse. At the same time, we explore how our researcher Discourse also became hybridized in order to better work with a system where an undemocratic accountability Discourse continues to be dominant. Submit a response to this article Submit online at democracyeducationjournal.org/home Read responses to this article online http://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol21/iss2/2 C ritics of modern, assessment-driven schooling policies have argued that in order to revitalize educational democracy, we need a greater focus on process, rather than outcome, in all aspects of education, including teacher professional-learning settings as well as student learning contexts (Lobman, 2011; Newman, 2000). An education system grounded in democracy as process requires collective, creative, emergent, and participatory teacher learning practices where development of democratic decision making, not democratic results, is the goal. Indeed, Newman (2000) has argued that any efforts to rejuvenate democracy that do not simultaneously and continuously reinitiate democracy-as-process for all stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members) are doomed to reinforce and further institutionalize the outcome framework that presently holds sway in educational reform (Lobman, 2011). Research and teacher professional-development projects that strive to support democracy in education can readily fall prey to these same outcome-based assumptions about success or failure. Too often, we presuppose a successful outcome as one in which teachers accept new practices wholeheartedly and then "correctly" apply them to their instruction on a regular basis-what researchers may refer to as fidelity of implementation. Instead of taking up this outcome-oriented model, our research framework focuses on democracy-in-process by attempting to develop
@techreport{
 title = {Teacher, Researcher, and Accountability Discourses Creating Space for Democratic Science Teaching Practices in Middle Schools},
 type = {techreport},
 source = {democracy & education},
 volume = {21},
 issue = {2},
 websites = {http://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol21/iss2/2},
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 abstract = {This study explores the role of competing discourses that shape current practices in U.S. schools and how professional development efforts can support teachers and researchers in finding ways to reinsert more democratic processes into their collaborative work. We examine the case of one research and professional development project with the goal of supporting middle school science and ESOL teachers in fostering more meaningful science learning for all their students but especially their English language learners. Using Gee's notion of big-D discourses and Fairclough's notion of interdiscursivity, we trace how the Discourse of accountability, the Discourse of science teaching, and the Discourse of education research, each constructed by different stakeholders for different purposes, may become interdiscursive and hybridized through interaction over time. Excerpts from interviews and conversations with participants during the various components of our project highlight both the challenges and the possibilities of teachers retaining or regaining agency in their classrooms within and against the structures of the accountability Discourse. At the same time, we explore how our researcher Discourse also became hybridized in order to better work with a system where an undemocratic accountability Discourse continues to be dominant. Submit a response to this article Submit online at democracyeducationjournal.org/home Read responses to this article online http://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol21/iss2/2 C ritics of modern, assessment-driven schooling policies have argued that in order to revitalize educational democracy, we need a greater focus on process, rather than outcome, in all aspects of education, including teacher professional-learning settings as well as student learning contexts (Lobman, 2011; Newman, 2000). An education system grounded in democracy as process requires collective, creative, emergent, and participatory teacher learning practices where development of democratic decision making, not democratic results, is the goal. Indeed, Newman (2000) has argued that any efforts to rejuvenate democracy that do not simultaneously and continuously reinitiate democracy-as-process for all stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members) are doomed to reinforce and further institutionalize the outcome framework that presently holds sway in educational reform (Lobman, 2011). Research and teacher professional-development projects that strive to support democracy in education can readily fall prey to these same outcome-based assumptions about success or failure. Too often, we presuppose a successful outcome as one in which teachers accept new practices wholeheartedly and then "correctly" apply them to their instruction on a regular basis-what researchers may refer to as fidelity of implementation. Instead of taking up this outcome-oriented model, our research framework focuses on democracy-in-process by attempting to develop},
 bibtype = {techreport},
 author = {Buxton, Cory A and Kayumova, Shakhnoza and Allexsaht-Snider, Martha}
}
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