Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Brette Garner

Second Advisor

Paul Michalec

Third Advisor

Mary Kay Delaney

Fourth Advisor

Trisha Raque


Ambitious science teaching, COVID-19 pandemic, Equity, Hermeneutic phenomenology, Pedagogical judgment


At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in March of 2020, education in the United States changed dramatically. Science teachers began to look at the implementation of ambitious and equitable science teaching practices differently. Employing the hermeneutic phenomenological framework, the purpose of this study was to investigate the lived experience of science teachers, specifically looking at their pedagogical judgment related to ambitious and equitable science teaching. Semi-structured interviews, artifacts and surveys were used to develop a rich description of the phenomenon. Data analysis of the science teachers’ narratives, Qualtrics surveys, and lesson plans illuminated six essential themes common to all the participants: (1) first impressions of the pandemic; (2) confusion of the pandemic; (3) a new normal; (4) technology as aid and hinderance; (5) thoughts on equity; and (6) facilitating ambitious science teaching. Participants expressed that contributing to this study, specifically sharing all their stories about science teaching during the height of the pandemic, was therapeutic. This study is one of the first to investigate the lived experience of the science teacher as they navigate their pedagogical judgment around ambitious and equitable science teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Amy Vo


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

165 pgs


Education, Science education, Teacher education