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TE Research Talk: Dr. Quentin Sedlacek

February 13, 2020 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Dr. Quentin Sedlacek Research Talk

The Department of Teacher Education
Science Search Committee cordially invites you:

“What counts as science writing and who gets to be good at it? How ideas about language can undermine equity in high school biology.”

Writing plays an important role in K-12 science education. Because of its importance, science writing should be examined critically as an ideological construct, one which encompasses not only specific linguistic resources but also expectations about the uses and users of those resources. In this talk, I present findings from several studies that critically examine how science writing is defined and instantiated by high school biology teachers. First, using data from online surveys, I show points of both convergence and divergence among teachers’ conceptions of science writing. I also demonstrate that school-level racial/ethnic demographics predicted teacher expectations for classroom-level performance on a science writing task. Next, I use an experiment to show that teachers provided different quantities of feedback on a sample of student science writing depending on the apparent racial/ethnic and gender identity of the writer. Finally, I discuss the implications of these findings and explore how they can inform future research and science teacher education in pursuit of equity and social justice.


Quentin Sedlacek is a postdoctoral STEM education researcher at California State University, Monterey Bay, where he studies student experiences of inclusion and exclusion in science. More broadly, his interdisciplinary work uses frameworks from linguistic anthropology and social psychology to investigate how systems of oppression are contested (or reproduced) in science education and teacher education. He holds a B.A. in Physics from Harvard University, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi, and a Ph.D. in Race, Inequality, and Language in Education and Teacher Education from Stanford University. At Stanford, Quentin was the recipient of student-and staff-nominated awards for his community organizing efforts, which included co-founding a peer mentorship program for graduate students and organizing a yearlong event series centering the perspectives of LGBTQ people of color in education. Before graduate school, he taught science and mathematics for five years at public schools in Mississippi and American S?moa.


February 13, 2020
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
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Department of Teacher Education


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