David Stroupe

David Stroupe '13 has been honored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education for publishing the nation's most outstanding doctoral dissertation during the past year, honoring his research on ambitious teaching practice while at the University of Washington College of Education.

Stroupe, who earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction and is now an assistant professor of teacher education at Michigan State University, wrote his dissertation on “Students drive where I go next: Ambitious practice, beginning teacher learning, and classroom epistemic communities.”

In his dissertation, Stroupe examined the learning, practice and classroom communities of five beginning secondary science teachers for one school year. To varying degrees, the participants attempted to enact ambitious practice, a framework for instruction focused on providing students with opportunities to engage in rigorous and responsive science activity. By analyzing teacher and student interactions in a classroom context, this study filled important gaps in the field's understanding of teacher learning and classroom communities as spaces for students to engage in authentic science practice. Reviewers commended the premise of the study as one in which teachers’ work is guided by a repertoire of instructional practices that enable them to adapt and innovate pedagogical routines and tools to meet students’ emerging needs.

Stroupe conducted his research while serving as an investigator in UW's Tools for Ambitious Science Teaching project, a system of tools and practices designed to serve as a model for making early career teacher training and induction clearly focused on student learning. Professor Mark Windschitl served as Stroupe's advisor.

AACTE's Outstanding Dissertation Award recognizes excellence in doctoral dissertation research that contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation.

Stroupe has three overlapping areas of research interests anchored around ambitious teaching practice. First, he frames classrooms as science practice communities. Using lenses from Science, Technology, and Society and the History and Philosophy of Science, he examines how teachers and students negotiate power, knowledge and epistemic agency. Second, he examines how beginning teachers learn from practice in and across their varied contexts. Third, he studies how teacher preparation programs can provide support and opportunities for beginning teachers to learn from practice.

Stroupe has a background in biology and taught secondary life science for four years.


Dustin Wunderlich, Director for Marketing and Communications

206-543-1035, dwunder@uw.edu