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QUESTIONING STRATEGIES FOR SCIENCE CLASSROOMS

Ebooks cut down on the employ of paper, as strongly suggested by environmental enthusiasts. There are no fixed timings for study. There is usually no question of waiting-time for new editions. There is no transportation to the eBook shop. The imperative that all students, including English learners ELs , achieve high academic standards and have opportunities to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM learning has become even more urgent and complex given shifts in science and math standards.

As a group, these students are underrepresented in STEM fields in college and in the workforce at a time when the demand for workers and professionals in STEM fields is unmet and increasing. These data do not speak directly to the underrepresentation of ELs in STEM fields because EL status during K—12 schooling cannot be inferred from ethnicity, and because ELs come from many ethnic segments of society.

Nonetheless, reduced participation and success in STEM coursework in high school and college among ELs lend support to such an inference based on workforce participation data. At least as important, increasing the diversity of the STEM workforce confers benefits to society as a whole, not simply due to the improved economic circumstances for a substantial segment of society, but also because diversity. Organizing schools and preparing teachers so that all students can reach their full potential in STEM has the potential to transform the lives of individual students, as well as the lives of the teachers, the schools, and society as a whole.

The term EL used throughout the report is consistent with the federal definition: 1 a student who is ages 3 through 21, enrolled in an elementary or secondary school, not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English, and whose proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English.

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These students are instructed under a variety of different program models including English as a second language [ESL] approaches as well as bilingual approaches intended to support both language and content learning U. Department of Education, Supporting ELs to develop disciplinary content and language simultaneously has been a focus of educational policies throughout this century e. This evolution in federal policy reflects modern understandings of the intricate interplay between language and content, specifically the fundamental role that language plays in academic proficiency, and the reciprocal role that content learning plays in language development Lee, Language and content are learned in tandem, not separately or sequentially.

At its core, this realization makes clear that language proficiency is not a prerequisite for content instruction, but an outcome of effective content instruction.

Moreover, the direction of this relationship i. As content standards are continuously evolving, English language proficiency ELP standards must also change and evolve Lee, College- and career-ready standards present both opportunities and challenges for ELs, necessitating that educators at multiple levels of the education system develop new areas of expertise. Historically, within the classroom, STEM content learning has been considered the province of STEM content educators, while language learning has been considered the province of language educators.

Current understanding of the co-development of language and content necessitates that educators of STEM content are familiar with the nature of language, language learning, and exemplary STEM instruction that includes attention to language. How do students learn mathematics through using language? Appreciation of the role of language in content learning has developed over time with historical roots dating back to the last quarter of the previous century.

To understand current research and practice in STEM teaching and in the education of ELs requires working knowledge of some of the more salient elements of that history. In this section, we provide a brief overview of the historical developments behind current thinking about the intersection of language development, STEM learning, and STEM education of ELs. This overview is not exhaustive, but provides an essential, albeit brief, historical context for the current charge and report. This approach recognized that children best learn language if it is taught in meaningful contexts of use, and that for children in school, the meaningful contexts are the subject areas.

This idea was further supported by the work of Cummins ; in particular, he made a distinction between informal conversational language and more formal academic language in his research on children developing bilingual competence at school. This distinction generated controversy from the beginning see Cummins, , for discussion , but has nonetheless proved valuable in drawing attention to the many ways that individuals use and understand language in education, as well as more generally. During the same time period, research was increasingly pointing to the need for explicit attention to language itself as part of the second-language learning process in school contexts, as exposure to the language alone did not lead to development of proficiency see Lightbown and Spada, ; Spada and Tomita, , for reviews.

One issue in research on ELs is the use of the construct academic language. Register refers to the variation in language choices that people make in engaging in a range of activities throughout the day. Chapter 3 develops this definition, illustrating how the content to be learned, the kinds of interactions students are expected to engage in, and the linguistic and nonlinguistic modalities they use for meaning-making shape the language choices they make. Understanding academic language as part of a set of registers positions it as more than just disciplinary vocabulary that can tend to be the focus, and enables the recognition of.

Later studies developed a broader view of mathematics activity, examining not only responses to arithmetic computation, reasoning, and problem solving, but also the strategies children used to solve arithmetic word problems Secada, , and student conceptions of two-digit quantities Fuson et al.


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Since these early studies focused on carrying out arithmetic computation and solving word problems, conclusions were limited to these two mathematics topics. It was not possible to generalize from studies on arithmetic computation and algebra word problems to other topics in mathematics, such as geometry, measurement, probability, or proportional reasoning.

Following the failure of an emphasis on only procedural skills, research has focused on approaches that include the other strands of mathematics proficiency, especially conceptual understanding and reasoning, as well as mathematics discourse Cobb, Wood, and Yackel, ; Forman, ; Lampert, ; Moschkovich, see Chapter 3. The general direction of early research on science learning with ELs did not attend to the practical need for all students to meet the full range of science standards or abilities while also developing English proficiency.

In the s, studies of disciplinary practices in science education emerged from the scholarship of science studies—the empirical study of science communities. Sociology and anthropology of science identified the important ways that science is constructed through discourse and social practices Kelly and.

Chen, ; Latour, ; McGinn and Roth, Much of the early literature on effective science instruction with ELs focused on engaging ELs in hands-on activities to make science concrete and experiential while reducing language load. In addition, discrete science process skills e. Focusing on the social and discourse practices of science education began to situate instances of talk and action around meaning-making in ongoing social and cultural practices of the specified classroom, laboratory group, museum, or other educational setting.

This study of primarily teacher-led discourse practices identified the important ways that the thematic content of scientific knowledge was instantiated in secondary science classrooms. Through detailed linguistic analysis of discourse processes, Lemke identified the many ways that science can be obscure, difficult, and alienating to students. This study opened up the field to take a closer look at the various discourse processes and practices of science.

Studies of discourse in science education have identified ways that student interests, narratives, and personal and cultural worlds contribute to how they are positioned and how they come to see themselves as science learners Brown, ; Varelas et al. It considered the needs of STEM teachers with respect to instruction and issues related to the valid and reliable assessment of ELs.

Meaning Making In Secondary Science Classrooms

The committee met five times over an month period in and to gather information and explore the range of issues associated with ELs and their STEM learning opportunities. During this time, the committee reviewed the published literature pertaining to its charge and had opportunities to engage with many experts.

Additionally, the committee commissioned five papers during the information-gathering phase of the process. The committee spent a great deal of time discussing the charge and the best ways to respond to it. Evidence was gathered from presentations and a review of the existing literature over the past 10 to 15 years see Box The committee also reviewed the literature on assessment, including formative and summative assessment. For each of these areas, careful consideration was given to the strength of the evidence described below as well as across the various grade bands.

Meaning Making In Secondary Science Classrooms paperback

During the review, it was clear that there is an imbalance in the research for different disciplinary content areas. That is, there is more information for science and mathematics with relatively sparse information available for technology and engineering. Therefore, the committee acknowledges that science and mathematics are necessarily overrepresented throughout the report. As such, the committee also reviewed literature on school, family, and community interactions as related to STEM broadly and specific to ELs.

When examining the outcomes specific to ELs and the various subpopulations described below in STEM learning, the committee recognized that there are limitations in the literature as to how ELs are characterized. Whereas some studies noted the different subpopulations included, others did not. Moreover, it was not always clear how reclassified ELs were included in the analyses, if at all. The committee also gave careful consideration to research conducted outside of the United States. Although some literature is included, constraints of time prevented an exhaustive review of literature outside of the United States.

Over the course of this study, members of the committee benefited from discussion and presentations by the many individuals who participated in our three fact-finding meetings.

Meaning Making In Secondary Science Classrooms paperback

At the first meeting, the committee heard presentations on ways in which to consider progress with respect to reclassification and learning progressions, as well as on new frames for thinking about mathematics and science learning given the Common Core Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards. During the second meeting, the presentations centered on the research examining factors associated with equitable educational contexts. Additional presentations looked at state and district policies and the implementation of equitable educational opportunities, such as immigration trends and educational impacts, funding patterns associated with federal accountability, and a district-level perspective on ways to build capacity for teachers to provide rigorous science learning opportunities to their students, including ELs.

Also during the second meeting, the committee considered issues centered on technology, computational thinking, and digital media through presentations that discussed technology-based programs designed to improve learning outcomes and broaden participation among ELs while also addressing the limited evidence base on technology and ELs. Acknowledging that the committee had less expertise in the PreK space, at the third and final fact-finding meeting, the committee was briefed on three areas of emerging research on science education with ELs in PreK to include curricular development, home-to-school connections, and assessment of student science ability.

The committee commissioned five papers to provide more in-depth analysis on key issues. Through their discussions, the committee recognized the growing role of ESL teachers in the classroom and commissioned Sultan Turkan Educational Testing Service to provide an overview of the changing role of ESL teachers in K—12, the nature of collaboration with science and mathematics content teachers, and the preparation that is needed. In reviewing the evidence, many different types of studies were included: qualitative case studies, ethnographic and field studies, interview studies, and a few large-scale studies.

The committee recognized that the literature consisted predominantly of studies that were more descriptive in nature with few studies that could describe causal effects as characterized in the National Research Council [b] Scientific Research in Education. As appropriate, throughout the report, the evidence is qualified to articulate the type of research being reviewed and its strength.

The committee was also careful to qualify and temper the conclusions and subsequent recommendations that could be made based on the type of evidence and its strength. As part of the deliberation process, the committee acknowledged that many other terms exist to characterize the population, for example, dual language learners, multi-language learners, and emergent bilinguals see National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, As described in more detail in Chapter 2 , the committee examined the literature broadly and considered all program models—those associated with either ESL or bilingual approaches.