Research

Bottoms et al., 2017  S.I. Bottoms, K. Ciechanowski, K. Jones, J. de la Hoz, A.L. Fonseca
Leveraging the community context of Family Math and Science Nights to develop culturally responsive teaching practices
Teaching and Teacher Education, 61 (2017), pp. 1-15
Abstract: This paper examines how elementary teacher candidates experience Family Math and Science Nights with culturally and linguistically diverse children and families. Weekly reflections were analyzed using Gay's (2002, 2013) Culturally Responsive Teaching framework to highlight the process of enacting and thinking in key areas: (1) Changing attitudes and beliefs, (2) Leveraging culture and difference, (3) Grappling with resistance, and (4) Improving pedagogical connections. An action-oriented focus underscores that teacher candidates need multiple rounds of practice to disrupt traditional notions of teaching and move towards cultural responsiveness. Findings suggest the importance of repeated practice, context, and focused guided reflection.

S. I. Bottoms et al. 2016  S. I. Bottoms, K. M. Ciechanowski, B. Hartman
Learning to Teach Elementary Science Through Iterative Cycles of Enactment in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Contexts
Journal of Science Teacher Education (2015) 26:715-742
Abstract: Iterative cycles of enactment embedded in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts provide rich opportunities for preservice teachers (PSTs) to enact core practices of science. This study is situated in the larger Families Involved in Sociocultural Teaching and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (FIESTAS) project, which weaves together cycles of enactment, core practices in science education and culturally relevant pedagogies. The theoretical framework draws upon situated learning theory and communities of practice. Using video analysis by PSTs and course artifacts, the authors studied how the iterative process of these cycles guided PSTs development as teachers of elementary science. Findings demonstrate how PSTs were drawing on resources to inform practice, purposefully noticing their practice, renegotiating their roles in teaching, and reconsidering "professional blindness" through cultural practice.

Ciechanowski et al. 2015  K. Ciechanowski, S. Bottoms, A.L. Fonseca, T. St. Clair
Should Rey Mysterio Drink Gatorade? Cultural Competence in Afterschool STEM Programming
Afterschool Matters (Spring 2015), pp. 29-37
The afterschool hours offer children unscripted and flexible time to explore their spaces and interests so they can learn in and from their surroundings. They engage with the world, exploring natural environments and connecting with others through social relationships. For example, during informal fútbol games with friends, children learn how to position their bodies to block opponents and take shots at goal. At home, they view cartoons on television and delight in characters that float by escaping from gravity. With their families, they prepare the garden in spring by collecting earthworms and expelling slugs. While interacting with the world, they build relationships with family, friends, and community members to co-construct understanding and share knowledge.

Bottoms, SueAnn I. 2007
Inside a school-university partnership: Participation in a community of practice as professional growth
Oregon State University Scholars Archive
Abstract: Research suggests that long-term participation in professional development is critical in helping teachers meet the increasing demands of reform efforts and changing practice (Gallucci, 2003; Darling-Hammond, 1995; Little, 1993). Understanding the influence that participation in a community of teachers as a community of practice may have on teachers’ professional growth requires a deeper understanding of those aspects of teacher community that encourage or discourage participation. This research examines teachers’ perceptions as to why they participate in a community of practice. It also addresses what these perceptions suggest about the potential resources that participation in a community of practice provide in support of professional growth. This study utilizes community of practice as theoretical framework because it encourages thought about learning as participation rather than simply the acquisition of knowledge or skills (Wenger, 1999). This mid-level analysis focuses on the actions, artifacts, tools, stories, events, and discourse of the participants in a given context. It is a critical case study using a phenomenological perspective (Patton, 2005) to understand the essence of the experience of participation from the perspective of the participants themselves. Analysis of participants’ responses indicates that from their perspective, participation in a community of teachers as community of practice through a school-university partnership constitutes a resource for professional growth. Teachers in this study describe their participation in terms of leadership, disengagement, student-centeredness, pedagogy and pedagogical content knowledge, financial and material resources, professional development, collegial interactions and relationships, and shared personal practice. Analysis of participation is characterized by reason(s) for initial participation, for continuing or discontinuing participation, in terms of collegial interactions and relationships, and by changes in participation or experience over time.