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.
Kind, V. (2009). Pedagogical content knowledge in science education: Perspectives and potential for progress. Studies in Science Education, 45(2), 169–204.
Debate surrounding the definition of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has limited its use in guiding teacher practice and teacher education. To help trainees acquire the unique skills of expert teachers in translating content for learners, this paper argues that an explicit focus on PCK (rather than an emphasis on subject matter knowledge) is needed.
Oliver, M. (2011). Towards an understanding of neuroscience for science educators. Studies in Science Education, 47(2), 211–235.
In this review, Oliver calls for greater cross-pollination between neuroscience research and educational practice. She argues that a richer understanding of the brain can dispel educational myths—and indeed uses research data in this paper to do so. She explores ways in which brain science can not only inform emerging theories of learning and teaching but also inspire effective educational interventions.
Atwood, S., Turnbull, W., & Carpendale, J.I.M. (2010). The construction of knowledge in classroom talk. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(3), 358–402.
In this study, researchers investigated the nature of three different modes of classroom talk—cumulative, exploratory, and disputational—to determine how these modes supported engagement and participation of college-aged students in psychology courses. The article is relevant to ISE educators in that conversation and verbal meaning-making often characterize programs such as science summer camps, afterschool programs, etc. The paper points out how such talk can be made more productive by making it more exploratory in nature.
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.
Tatalovic, M. (2009). Science comics as tools for science education and communication: A brief, exploratory study. Journal of Science Communication, 8(4), 1-17.
This paper argues that comic books, comic strips, and other sequential art covering scientific concepts and stories about scientists can be used to good effect for science learning, especially for grounding scientific fact in social contexts. The paper includes a rich list of existing comics that practitioners can use in classes and programs for ISE audiences.
Maulucci, M. (2010). Resisting the marginalization of science in an urban school: Coactivating social, cultural, material and strategic resources. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(7), 840–860.
Education reform efforts often focus on material supplies and teacher knowledge of science, but this article points out additional constraints that teachers face within their schools and how the teachers from one middle school overcame them. These constraints have implications for what the researcher calls “inertial forces” that may derail social justice efforts. An awareness of these issues can help ISE educators in their efforts to design and lead professional development programs that support teachers.
Cobb, P., Zhao, Q., & Dean, C. (2009). Conducting design experiments to support teachers' learning: A reflection from the field. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(2), 165–199.
This article reports the results of a design research experiment in professional development for teachers of middle school mathematics. The authors report on how they developed their programs to account for three underlying conceptual challenges to their efforts: (1) the institutional contexts that teachers worked in, (2) the ways in which the learning developed in and through the community of practice, and (3) the relationship between teachers' learning in the program and teachers' teaching in their classrooms. Especially because of the different institutional cultures found in ISE versus school settings, this article could be highly informative for designing ISE-based professional development programs for teachers.
Berti, A. E., Toneatti, L., & Rosati, V. (2010). Children's conceptions about the origin of species: A study of Italian children's conceptions with and without instruction. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(4), 506–538.
This study examines how early elementary school-aged children develop theories of the origin of species. It may interest ISE educators who are developing strategies for engaging their audiences with theories and processes of evolution. The article provides background on the research literature about teaching and learning of evolution. The results of this study suggest that direct instruction or interactions with Darwinian models, even at a young age, can support children's understanding of evolutionary theory, and may be as important as developmental or cultural concerns already documented in the literature.
Kallery, M., Psillos, D., & Tselfes, V. (2009). Typical didactical activities in the Greek early-years science classroom: Do they promote science learning? International Journal of Science Education, 31(9), 1187—1204
In this paper the analysis of science lessons in early-years classrooms shows that the lessons did not promote scientific investigation or make connections between the ideas involved and the material world. Teacher directed scientific activities observed had limited value in terms of scientific inquiry and consequently did not foster the development of ideas or support the formation of hypotheses. The paper raises questions about how to best promote scientific practices, including through continuing professional development.