Eye-rollers, risk-takers, and turn sharks: Target students in a professional science education program

Sonya N. Martin, Catherine Milne, Kathryn Scantlebury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In classrooms from kindergarten to graduate school, researchers have identified target students as students who monopolize material and human resources. Classroom structures that privilege the voice and actions of target students can cause divisive social dynamics that may generate cliques. This study focuses on the emergence of target students, the formation of cliques, and professors' efforts to mediate teacher learning in a Master of Science in Chemistry Education (MSCE) program by structuring the classroom environment to enhance nontarget students' agency. Specifically, we sought to answer the following question: What strategies could help college science professors enact more equitable teaching structures in their classrooms so that target students and cliques become less of an issue in classroom interactions? The implications for professional education programs in science and mathematics include the need for professors to consider the role and contribution of target students to the learning environment, the need to structure an equitable learning environment, and the need to foster critical reflection upon classroom interactions between students and instructors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-851
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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