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2023 ASTE Conference - Presentation by Tracy Poulsen, Rebecca Sansom, & Others

Thursday, January 12
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
Salt Lake City, UT

The Implications of Technology-Mediated Lesson Study in the Professional Learning of Rural Science Teachers


Brigham Young University

  • Rebecca Sansom
  • Tracy M Poulsen
  • Heather Leary
  • Josh Stowers

Utah State University

  • Max Longhurst

Presentation Summary

Rural science teachers struggle with isolation and lack of professional learning opportunities. Teachers participated in technologymediated lesson study, designing, and implementing secondary science lessons aligned to NGSS standards. Participation in the project resulted in increased capacity and strengthened social networks.

Format: Themed Paper Set Presider: Jessica Stephenson Reaves


A major challenge for secondary science teachers in rural schools is isolation: being the only science teacher in the school or the only teacher of a specific subject. As a result, rural science teachers have fewer opportunities for meaningful collaboration, even though collaboration is a key characteristic of effective professional learning. To more completely understand the challenges and social networks of Utah’s rural teachers, chemistry and biology teachers participated in a social network analysis survey. Among these teachers, four teachers were identified from each of the four regions of the Utah Rural Schools Association participated in professional learning aimed to increase integration of three-dimensional science teaching as described by the Next Generation Science Standards.

Lesson Study is an established professional learning model that has shown success in meeting teachers’ professional learning needs by improving collaboration, helping them examine their practice, and enhancing student learning. Throughout the course of the school year, these teachers participated in a novel form of lesson study, which allowed for teachers to develop lesson plans, make classroom observations, and provide constructive feedback, despite being geographically isolated.

Our focus on rural science teachers has enabled us to (a) utilize the designed based implementation research (DBIR) approach to develop and implement professional learning opportunities for rural high school biology and chemistry teachers, (b) describe the social network, context, and needs of these teachers, (c) implement effective and on-going professional learning for a population in which opportunities for frequent in-person collaboration are hindered by geographic isolation, and (d) evaluate the changes in teachers’ implementation of three-dimensional science standards in their lesson development and practices. Our series of papers addresses our experience with and findings in these four main areas.