Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Dissertation


Teachers--Self-rating of--Iowa; Science teachers--Iowa--Psychology;


Science educators are in the position to create bridges between their students and the world of science (Aikenhead, 1996, 1999). This connection has often been described as the third space (Bhabha, 1994; Moje, Collazo, Carrillo, & Marx, 2001; Wallace, 2004), which is represented as a combination or a meeting of the students' world and the world of science. In this study, I examined my role in creating the third space through the use of self-study. Self-study is a form of research, educators use to understand their practice (Austin & Senese, 2004; Loughran, 2004; Northfield & Loughran, 1996). It is a means of describing, analyzing, and interpreting a teacher's actions within his or her classroom (Tidwell, 2002). The focal point of this self-study is to understand my actions found within my past and present teaching experiences and the underlying beliefs that are expressed through those actions.

In this self-study, I collected data from my life history, classroom observations, and member check interview. My life history described my influences that shaped my philosophy of teaching and learning, while the classroom observations provided a means of understanding my interactions with the science curriculum and my English Language Learner (ELL) students. And finally, a member check focus group interview occurred to confirm the results occurring in the classroom observations. Once the data were collected, I used grounded theory methods to analyze my results and answer the research questions.

This self-study became the means of exploring my philosophy of teaching and learning and my teaching practices as they occurred in an ELL science classroom. I examined my own practice through a comparison between my past experiences and my current teaching situation and through this exploration, I identified my actions and the beliefs associated with those actions as they informed my teaching practices.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Deborah Tidwell, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 137 pages)



File Format