Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
N A U student teacher standing in front of classroom with a book in hand.

Becoming who I thought I’d be? – revisiting a beginning elementary teacher five years after student teaching

Year of funding: 2019-2020

Faculty: Marti Canipe

Funding amount: $3000.00


Elementary teacher educators endeavor to prepare prospective elementary teachers to teach science in ways that best support student learning. However, once these prospective teachers finish their teacher preparation programs, there are many other influences that may shape their identities as teachers of science. In this single-case study, I propose to investigate how one beginning elementary teacher’s identity as a teacher of science may have developed during her first five years of teaching. The results of this study may help science teacher educators understand factors that contribute to shifting identities in the early years of teaching.


This project will provide insight into how a beginning elementary teacher’s identity as a teacher of science develops after a teacher education program. When combined with findings about the role of science methods’ course experiences on prospective elementary teachers’ visions of themselves as science teachers (Canipe & Coronado Verdugo, 2018), findings from this study will support the preparation of a proposal for a Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In addition to serving as pilot data for the NSF DRK-12 application, the findings from this study will be disseminated in both local as well as national forums. Locally, I will share results with College of Education faculty who teach the elementary science methods course in the hopes that the findings might inform their instruction. For wider dissemination, I will submit proposals to research conferences, such as AERA and NARST, and manuscripts to journals such as JRST and JSTE.