Council on Anthropology and Education
Oral Presentation Session
“If we cannot bring our students outside of the classroom, why not bring informal science learning into the classroom?” This paraphrases a teacher participant in a research group focused on teacher identity vis-à-vis informal science learning. Situated in a large, diverse urban public school district, this presentation highlights the experiences of four teachers of color (three Afro-Diasporic and one Latino) as they navigate their identities and subjectivities around racialized storylines (Nasir et al. 2012) they encounter in school and science education. I present Critical Agentic Bricoleur (CAB) as a framework to describe teaching identities in relation to how teachers adapted meanings and resources of informal science learning in response to the storylines. Racial storylines are the pervasive narratives about race in our social discourse that gets enacted in schools and other social settings (Nasir et al. 2012) and influence the identities made available to learners (and teachers) in learning contexts. With learning, goals and identity evolving together in social practice, racial storylines present spaces where learners could resist and articulate new goals and take up new identities. Teachers are subjected to the racial storylines while they also shape learning experiences for students. Agency allows teachers to access and appropriate resources at hand to meet goals, (Author, 2017), and provides a salient construct for examining how teachers use informal science, as physical and conceptual resources, to enact teaching to counter negative and persistent storylines about students/people of colour and schooling.