Date of Award


Document Type



Teaching and Learning

Committee Chair/Advisor

Jeff C. Marshall

Committee Member

Mindy Spearman

Committee Member

Cynthia C. Minchew Deaton

Committee Member

Jacquelynn Malloy

Committee Member

Luke J. Rapa


The benefits of implementing active learning (AL) embedded with culturally responsive teaching (CRT) practices are well established: students’ deep learning of science is promoted and the achievement gaps between students of majority and minority backgrounds are reduced. Unfortunately, the acceptance for AL and CRT in Nepal’s science teacher programs is low and implementation is superficial. Using a qualitative multiple-case study, the study examined the understanding of seven Nepali science teacher educators (STE) of AL and CRT practices. The challenges faced by the STEs to implementing these two pedagogies at three of Nepal’s science education-focused Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programs were also examined.

The study’s results were multifaceted. The seven STEs, all of whom prepared future Nepali K-12 science teachers, had a rudimentary procedural knowledge of AL. The STEs mostly lectured, provided notes, and focused on helping students pass Tribhuvan University’s (TU) standardized tests by encouraging the memorization of scientific facts, laws, and theories. The STEs involved students in performing confirmatory laboratory experiments. Likewise, STE’s understanding of critical, justice-oriented science teaching was also underdeveloped. The majority of the STEs could not leverage students’ unique strengths to improve their academic success. The consequence was that the success rates of Dalit and Janjati students were lower than the rates of privileged class students. One of the critical findings was that the STEs were caring and respectful of their students regardless of their backgrounds. Furthermore, a minority of STEs valued students’ cultural knowledge and local science practices.

The study demonstrated that the majority of the STEs felt unappreciated for their teaching and services. The heavy course load, memory-testing exams, and lack of teaching-learning resources also contributed to the STEs’ preferring lectures over AL and CRT. The study revealed that the STEs had not taken the initiative to self-educate themselves to remain current in their profession. To improve teaching-learning practices at B.Ed. science-focused programs, it is recommended that TU initiate a comprehensive reform to build the capacity of STEs and provide them with resources to implement AL and CRT. IT is also recommended that the STEs be given the authority to design and implement a curriculum and conduct student evaluations.

Keywords: Science teacher educators, active learning, culturally responsive teaching, Nepal, Dalit, Janjatis, Bachelor of Education in Science



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