Santau, A.O., Secada, W., Maerten-Rivera, J., Cone, N. & Lee, O. (2010). US Urban elementary teachers’ knowledge and practices in teaching science to English language learners: Results from the first year of a professional development intervention. International Journal of Science Education, 32(15), 2007–2032.
Teachers of English language learners face the dual challenge of helping students to learn the academic content of science and to acquire English language proficiency. Elementary teachers, meanwhile, face the additional challenge of responding to new teaching requirements outlined within reform initiatives with an often limited understanding of science and its practices. The study reported in this paper sought to examine these issues (and also a comparison of teacher’s knowledge and practice between grade levels) as part of the analysis of a long-term professional development initiative for urban elementary schools. The professional development (PD) sought to enhance teacher knowledge of science content, teaching practices, inquiry processes, and teaching practices in science to support English language development.
Bricker, L. A., & Bell, P. (2008). Conceptualizations of argumentation from science studies and the learning sciences and their implications for the practices of science education. Science Education, 92(3), 473–498. doi:10.1002/sce.20278
In order to broaden the conceptualizations of argument in science education, Bricker and Bell draws from diverse fields: the sociology of science, the learning sciences, and cognitive science. This review will help practitioners think of new ways to bring argumentation into learning spaces while expanding what counts as scientific argument.
Howes, E. V., Lim, M., & Campos, J. (2009). Journeys into inquiry-based elementary science: Literacy practices, questioning, and empirical study. Science Education, 93(2), 189–217.
Combining science and literacy is becoming a common teaching strategy, which builds on the importance of professional scientists’ use of reading, writing, and speaking in their work. This paper consists of descriptions of efforts of three elementary teachers to teach literacy through science. The authors’ purpose was to theorize how and why to integrate literacy practices with scientific inquiry, to provide examples for educators, and to provide considerations for implementation, all of which may also be useful for informal educators.
Hudicourt-Barnes, J. (2003). The use of argumentation in Haitian Creole science classrooms. Harvard Educational Review, 73(1), 73–93.
This article uses critical ethnography and analysis of student talk to refute claims that Haitian children are less than fully engaged in science classrooms. Josiane Hudicourt-Barnes provides examples from a bilingual science classroom to explain cultural differences in language and in students’ understanding of scientific argumentation. Hudicourt-Barnes posits that the Creole talk style of bay odyans is naturally scientific because it uses logic in argumentation. Ultimately, Hudicourt-Barnes proposes, cultural ways of thinking and speaking are good bases for science talk, particularly for argumentation.
Paris, D. (2012). Culturally sustaining pedagogy: A needed change in stance, terminology, and practice. Educational Researcher, 41(3), 93–97. doi:10.3102/0013189X12441244
In this paper, Paris urges educators to actively value and preserve our multicultural and multilingual society while creating space for growth within and across cultures. This recommended change from culturally responsive pedagogy to culturally sustaining pedagogy entails a shift in both terminology and stance.
Varelas, M., Pappas, C. C., Tucker-Raymond, E., Kane, J., Hankes, J., Ortiz, I., & Keblawe-Shamah, N. (2010). Drama activities as ideational resources for primary-grade children in urban science classrooms. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(3), 302-325.
ISE professionals can use this article as a source of ideas to guide thinking about what makes a successful dramatic experience for learners. Alternative, physical ways to engage science learners are often the most challenging to envision, effectively execute, and articulate how learning is fostered. The researchers and teachers in this study incorporated drama into science lessons to bring in fun, creativity, thinking, and imagination as part of classroom learning, and showed how the young students collectively represented the scientific world more accurately.
Johnson, C. C. (2011). The road to culturally relevant science: Exploring how teachers navigate change in pedagogy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(2), 170–198.
This article reports on a case study of two middle school science teachers who took part in professional development designed to help them enact culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms. The long-term and community-oriented aspects of the professional development seemed to play a vital role in supporting the teachers’ success.
Rincke, K. (2011). It’s rather like learning a language: Development of talk and conceptual understanding in mechanics lessons. International Journal of Science Education, 33(2), 229–258.
This study reports on how high school students use scientifically correct language to articulate the concept of ‘force’. Although the analysis is somewhat complex, the importance of this study is its research of how the students engage with scientific concepts and language, and moreover, how they use and apply it.
Alibali, M. W., & Nathan, M. J. (2012). Embodiment in mathematics teaching and learning: Evidence from learners’ and teachers’ gestures. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21(2), 247–286.
Teachers’ and learners’ gestures while giving explanations in mathematics can be categorized into three types, revealing their cognitive nature and communicative purpose: pointing reflects a grounding in the physical environment, representational gestures reveal mental simulations of action and perception, and metaphoric gestures reveal conceptual metaphors grounded in the physical human experience. Informal educators should reflect on their own gestures and those of learners, considering what they may contribute to greater learner understanding.
Enright, K. A. (2011). Language and literacy for a new mainstream. American Educational Research Journal, 48(1), 80–118. doi:10.3102/0002831210368989
In this comparative case study, Enright explores whether the very act of labeling students contributes to continued differences in educational opportunity for students labeled “mainstream” and “non-mainstream.”