Postdoctoral Fellow Position: Community-Based Consequential Learning in Middle School Biology

Website Rutgers University Graduate School of Education

The Rutgers University Graduate School of Education invites applications for a 2- or 3- year Postdoctoral Fellow position for a project on middle school science education. The postdoctoral fellow will work on an NSF-funded project: “Fostering Deep Learning, Identity, and Agency: Minoritized Students Learning Biology in Personal and Community-Relevant Contexts,” under the collaborative leadership of Dr. Ravit Duncan at Rutgers University, Dr. Edna Tan at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and Dr. Frieda Reichsman at the Concord Consortium. In this project, we will engage in participatory-based design research with a local urban middle school serving minoritized (predominantly Latinx) students to develop a technology-rich learning environment to support consequential learning for students around a community-based health issue. The project aims to better understand how to support science learning while inviting and integrating multiple epistemologies and student-salient identities. The project summary appears at the end of this announcement.

Responsibilities: The postdoctoral fellow’s responsibilities include taking a leadership role in the collaborative processes of designing and packaging curriculum units, developing teacher resources and professional development sessions, coordinating work in schools, and supervising classroom research and data analysis. The postdoctoral fellow will be a collaborator on our research team who will be fully involved in research and writing.

Qualifications: PhD by Dec 2020. Postdoctoral Fellows must be within five years of graduating with a Ph.D. or equivalent. The successful candidate will have demonstrated success in design of learning environments to support minoritize youth in STEM,  classroom-based research, and scholarly writing in the science education. Fluency in Spanish is a plus.

Start date: Feb 2021 (later start date possible). Given current conditions, initial participation can be remote (virtual). Review of applications will begin Jan 10th  and continue until the position is filled.

Application: Interested candidates should send the following to Dr. Ravit Duncan ([email protected]) with the subject line: Postdoctoral position.

  1. Current CV
  2. Cover letter describing relevant prior experience
  3. Two letters of recommendation*
  4. Writing sample (published or unpublished)

* Can be sent by recommenders directly to [email protected]

Overview of Project:

Using a participatory design approach, this project aims to deepen our understanding of how to support minoritized youth in three interlinked aspects critical for success in school science and beyond: authoring science-linked identities, negotiating science epistemologies, and learning life science core ideas and practices. Through two consecutive implementation studies, the project team will investigate how a set of design principles related to these aspects shapes students’ science-linked identities and understandings of science practices and core disciplinary ideas. Our team will work in middle school biology classrooms and collaborate with administrators, teachers, students, and community members to design meaningful and consequential instruction for minoritized youth. In particular, we hope to better understand how to support science learning while inviting and integrating multiple epistemologies and student-salient identities. The outcomes will contribute theoretical insights about how interactions between epistemic agency and community-based consequential learning support identity work as well as science understandings; educative instructional materials that can be adapted to other communities and contexts; professional materials that can be used to support enactment of community-based learning environments; and adaptations of materials that can be used in teacher preparation programs. In addition to the materials, dissemination will include research and practitioner publications and presentations, professional development workshops for middle school teachers, and a project website that will make the materials and resources freely available to others.

To apply for this job email your details to ravit.duncan@gse.rutgers.edu

To apply for this job email your details to ravit.duncan@gse.rutgers.edu

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