Dr. Amal Ibourk
Dr. Amal Ibourk’s research encompasses the three areas of (1) science learning, (2) science teaching, and (3) identity. Under the umbrella of science learning and teaching, she looks at how they both take place in classrooms and across different settings as students and teachers engage with three-dimensional science learning and learning technologies. Dr. Ibourk is interested in how preservice teachers (PSTs) and in-service teachers navigate their roles as science learners and teachers and how leveraging technology-enhanced instruction (e.g., using visualizations and simulations) can support their science learning and teaching. In her research, she uses the lens of identity to examine how storied-identities, or identities that are shaped by stories, inform PSTs’ practice, learning to teach, and teacher professional identity. Furthermore, she uses a storied-identities lens to investigate the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) identity of youth and how it informs their trajectories in the STEM pipeline. Her work also explores equity, diversity, and social justice issues in science education. Lastly, her recent work funded by NSF (2022- 2027) will look into developing elementary teachers' climate change literacy, self-efficacy towards teaching climate change, and the construct of climate change identity.
Dr. Ibourk was awarded the prestigious NSF CAREER grant for her project entitled: Developing Elementary Teachers’Self-Efficacy to Teach about Climate Change Using Community-Based Practices This project will support pre-service and in-service teachers in professional development that will prepare them to teach about climate change in community-specific ways. This project aims to advance elementary teachers’ development in three high-impact areas: (a) their self-efficacy toward teaching climate change science or beliefs and attitudes about teaching climate change science; (b) their science content knowledge around climate change; and (c) their climate change identity, or how they view their agency and role in climate change. Participating in-service teachers will co-design a justice-centered climate change instructional model by adding activities to the Global Climate Change and Urban Heat Island WISE unit. The newly designed lessons will focus on issues related to the local context, such as how climate change disproportionately affects vulnerable communities in Florida. Further, the lessons will address local and state policies that impact climate change. This project will implement a community-based science instructional model using the web-based inquiry science environment (WISE) as a tool to support pre-service and in-service teachers’ self-efficacy, climate change identity, and science content knowledge and examine the effect of participation across the three high-impact areas. Data collected include pre- and post-test of teachers’ climate change knowledge, interview data, and survey data from a survey to be developed that measures teachers’ climate change identity. Results from this project will contribute developmentally appropriate foundational knowledge around climate change education in elementary science education programs by introducing pre-service teachers to climate change education and building their self-efficacy for teaching it. It will also provide in-service elementary teachers with professional activities to increase their climate change self-efficacy. Key contributions include the development, refinement, and dissemination of climate change instructional models (e.g., instructional materials, website materials, teacher workshops) to understand and enhance pre-service and in-service elementary teachers’ self-efficacy toward climate change education as a part of the project’s educational activities.
Dr. Ibourk earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She teaches or has taught the following courses:
- SCE 4891: Introduction to the Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry for Elementary Teachers
- SCE 4892: Problem-based Science Learning for Elementary Teachers
- EME 5050: Teaching and Technology
SCE 6761: Identity and STEM Education
Dr. Ibourk has published several articles in journals such as the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, International Journal of Science Education, Journal of Science Education and Technology, Research in Science and Technological Education, Cultural Studies of Science Education as well as several book chapters.
Publications link: Researchgate