Professional Growth and Identity Development of STEM Teacher Educators in a Community of Practice

Andrea E. Weinberg, Meena M. Balgopal, Laura B. Sample McMeeking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Quality STEM teacher education is predicated on teacher educators who are well-equipped to design learning experiences, provide feedback, guide the development of teachers across their career span, and conduct rigorous research to advance education theory and praxis. While numerous models and approaches to professional development for teachers exist, few parallels can be drawn between the professional development of teachers and teacher educators (Loughran, 2014). To support the multi-faceted identity (trans)formation of STEM teacher educators, self-directed learning opportunities can help bridge knowledge and practice, enhance productive collaboration, and support efforts to negotiate multiple and conflicting agendas (Goodwin & Kosnik, 2013). The purpose of this empirical study was to explore the identity (trans)formation of teacher educators participating in a long-term interdisciplinary STEM-based Community of Practice (CoP; Wenger, 1998), which began in 2012. An analysis of our experiences through the figured worlds lens informs how a CoP can impact curricular approaches and teacher PD, imploring members to move through their comfort zones into innovative spaces. We conclude with suggestions for our STEM teacher educator colleagues who seek opportunities to challenge their own positions and best support preservice and in-service STEM teachers in a way that allows them to model for their students the value of community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-120
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Community of Practice
  • Mathematics education
  • Professional development
  • Science education
  • Teacher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Mathematics


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