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The aim of the study is to better understand teacher agency in the provision of science education to elementary school students. This article takes a specific focus on an elementary school teacher, who positioned herself as agentic in science. The study employs grammar of agency for the operationalisation of human agency in discursive psychological terms. Teacher agency in science is defined in the study as a teachers’ positioning as professionally responsible for science teaching to varying degrees. The instrumental case of Denise, an early years teacher at an elementary school in Melbourne, Australia, provides new understanding of teacher agency in elementary school science developing as a process of self-positioning in relation to institutional practices and professional others, supported by professional development. It is of interest to designers of professional development programs, education researchers and leaders in elementary schools. Implications of the study include greater attention to the notion of relational agency in research and professional development provision for elementary school teachers in science.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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