Bridging and brokering across communities of practice: A STEM coach’s role in helping teachers access expertise
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Oregon State University-Cascades, Bend, OR, USA
Online publication date: 2023-02-17
Publication date: 2023-03-01
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2023;19(3):em2232
STEM education aspires toward integrated and contextualized instruction, both difficult goals for teachers. Expertise from within and outside the school are resources for helping teachers access content knowledge and practices in their classrooms. In this project, a STEM coach supported teachers to integrate and contextualize STEM instruction. Connectivity between teachers, outside experts, and other resources indicated opportunities for curricular integration and contextualization and was measured through social network analysis and analysis of teacher journals and interviews. The coach dramatically increased connectivity in the district through bridging and brokering relationships, maintaining a global vision for the district’s STEM initiative, and navigating interpersonal relationships. Teachers utilized the connectivity to expertise to enhance STEM curriculum. Having a central actor (coach) allowed for rapid and widespread advancement of the STEM initiative.
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