The project addresses the historic marginalization of women and minoritized racial/ethnic (MRE) groups in physics. The aim of the project is to co-design, test, and disseminate professional learning for high school physics teachers, specifically targeting the implementation of inclusive and equitable practices that support physics identity development and persistence of women and MRE groups.
Mobilizing Physics Teachers to Promote Inclusive and Communal Classroom Cultures Through Everyday Actions (Collaborative Research: Cunningham)
The project addresses the historic marginalization of women and minoritized racial/ethnic (MRE) groups in physics. The aim of the project is to co-design, test, and disseminate professional learning (PL) for high school physics teachers, specifically targeting the implementation of inclusive and equitable practices that support physics identity development and persistence of women and MRE groups. The project leverages the existing national network of over 1,800 high school physics teachers established by the project, which is called STEP UP. Teachers play a crucial role in students' transition to college and their decisions regarding what to study. STEP UP challenges prevailing narratives about who can do physics and what constitutes physics, along with the Everyday Actions Guide (EAG) for inclusion and equity, Research has shown positive effects on the physics identity of women and MRE. However, teachers have expressed a continuous need for additional PL to effectively implement the EAG. In response, the project will co-design a PL program with teachers, testing its impact on teacher and student outcomes through design-based research (DBR) and an experimental study, and propagating the evidence-based PL program to hundreds of high school physics teachers. Overall, the project aims to support high school physics teachers across the nation in implementing and enhancing their inclusive practices. The project will ultimately impact over 10,000 students.
The project aims to deepen physics teachers' engagement with inclusive and equitable practices, foster communal classroom cultures, and promote physics identity development for women and MRE. It also seeks to understand how the propagation of these practices can be effectively implemented at a larger scale to support positive teacher and student outcomes. After collaborating with teachers in the co-design of the PL program, the project will implement an experimental design involving 120 physics teachers, with treatment groups receiving the PL facilitated by trained teachers, and control groups not receiving the PL. The effects of the PL on teacher and student outcomes will be examined. In the final phase, the PL program will be implemented on a larger scale, involving 400 in-service and 100 pre-service physics teachers. using a train-the-trainer model. The impact of the PL will be assessed through a survey study. The use of an evidence-based model and a community-engaged train-the-trainer approach will have broader implications for other professional learning projects, as well as the ongoing success of the STEP UP program. The commitment of two national societies, which will continue the professional learning for via their extensive teacher networks, ensuring the project's sustainability and long-term impact.