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Miss [untitled]: learning to teach science to English language learners while navigating affordances and constraints : a longitudinal multiple case study

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ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding them merit a thorough examination. This study examines the longitudinal

ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding them merit a thorough examination. This study examines the longitudinal changes in Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and practices of six early career science teachers who taught in urban schools. The teachers participated in the Alternative Support for Induction Science Teachers (ASIST) program during their initial two years of teaching. Our research team followed the participants over a five-year period. This study focuses on data from Years 1, 3, and 5. The data collected included classroom observations and interviews. In addition, classroom artifacts were collected periodically for the purpose of triangulation. The analysis of the data revealed that with the support of the ASIST program, the teachers implemented inquiry lessons and utilized instructional materials that promoted academic language skills and science competencies among their ELL students. Conversely, standardized testing, teaching assignment, and school culture played a role in constraining the implementation of inquiry-based practices. The results of this study call for collaborative efforts among university science educators and school administrators to provide professional development opportunities and support for the implementation of inquiry and language practices among early career science teachers of ELL students.

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Date Created
2011

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Evaluation of online teacher and student materials for the Framework for K-12 Science Education: science and engineering crosscutting concepts

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The National Research Council developed and published the Framework for K-12 Science Education, a new set of concepts that many states were planning on adopting. Part of this new endeavor included a set of science and engineering crosscutting concepts to

The National Research Council developed and published the Framework for K-12 Science Education, a new set of concepts that many states were planning on adopting. Part of this new endeavor included a set of science and engineering crosscutting concepts to be incorporated into science materials and activities, a first in science standards history. With the recent development of the Framework came the arduous task of evaluating current lessons for alignment with the new crosscutting concepts. This study took on that task in a small, yet important area of available lessons on the internet. Lessons, to be used by K-12 educators and students, were produced by different organizations and research efforts. This study focused specifically on Earth science lessons as they related to earthquakes. To answer the question as to the extent current and available lessons met the new crosscutting concepts; an evaluation rubric was developed and used to examine teacher and student lessons. Lessons were evaluated on evidence of the science, engineering and application of the engineering for each of the seven crosscutting concepts in the Framework. Each lesson was also evaluated for grade level appropriateness to determine if the lesson was suitable for the intended grade level(s) designated by the lesson. The study demonstrated that the majority of lesson items contained science applications of the crosscutting concepts. However, few contained evidence of engineering applications of the crosscutting concepts. Not only was there lack of evidence for engineering examples of the crosscutting concepts, but a lack of application engineering concepts as well. To evaluate application of the engineering concepts, the activities were examined for characteristics of the engineering design process. Results indicated that student activities were limited in both the nature of the activity and the quantity of lessons that contained activities. The majority of lessons were found to be grade appropriate. This study demonstrated the need to redesign current lessons to incorporate more engineering-specific examples from the crosscutting concepts. Furthermore, it provided evidence the current model of material development was out dated and should be revised to include engineering concepts to meet the needs of the new science standards.

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Date Created
2013

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Moving beyond concepts: getting urban high school students engaged in science through cognitive processes

Description

In order to maintain its global position, the United States needs to increase the number of students opting for science careers. Science teachers face a formidable challenge. Students are not choosing science because they do not think coursework is interesting

In order to maintain its global position, the United States needs to increase the number of students opting for science careers. Science teachers face a formidable challenge. Students are not choosing science because they do not think coursework is interesting or applies to their lives. These problems often compound for adolescents in urban areas. This action research investigated an innovation aimed at engaging a group of adolescents in the science learning process through cognitive processes and conceptual understanding. It was hoped that this combination would increase students' engagement in the classroom and proficiency in science. The study was conducted with 28 juniors and sophomores in an Environmental Science class in an urban high school with a student body of 97% minority students and 86% students receiving free and reduced lunch. The study used a mixed-methods design. Instruments included a pre- and post-test, Thinking Maps, transcripts of student discourse, and a two-part Engagement Observation Instrument. Data analysis included basic descriptives and a grounded theory approach. Findings show students became engaged in activities when cognitive processes were taught prior to content. Furthermore it was discovered that Thinking Maps were perceived to be an easy tool to use to organize students' thinking and processing. Finally there was a significant increase in student achievement. From these findings implications for future practice and research are offered.

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Date Created
2014

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Reading and Writing Military Science Fiction

Description

Discusses the reading experience and writing strategies in relation to four prominent novels from the genre

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Date Created
2013-05

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The Human Genome Project and ELSI: the imperative of technology and the reduction of the public ethics debate

Description

In the past century, a number of technological projects have been undertaken as grand solutions to social problems. In the so called century of biology, this technological world view focuses on biomedical advances. The President of the United States, who

In the past century, a number of technological projects have been undertaken as grand solutions to social problems. In the so called century of biology, this technological world view focuses on biomedical advances. The President of the United States, who once called for nuclear weapons and space exploration, now calls for new biotechnologies, such as genomics, individualized medicine, and nanotechnology, which will improve the world by improving our biological lives. Portrayed as the Manhattan Project of the late 20th Century, the Human Genome Project (HGP) not only undertook the science of sequencing the human genome but also the ethics of it. For this thesis I ask how the HGP did this; what was the range of possibilities of goods and evils imagined by the HGP; and what, if anything, was left out. I show that the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) research program of the HGP was inscribed with the competencies of the professional field of bioethics, which had lent itself useful for governing biomedical science and technology earlier in the 20th century. Drawing on a sociological framework for understanding the development of professional bioethics, I describe the development of ELSI, and I note how the given-in-advance boundaries between authorized/unauthorized questions shaped its formation and biased technologically based conceptualizations of social problems and potential solutions. In this sense, the HGP and ELSI served both as the ends of policy and as instruments of self-legitimation, thus re-inscribing and enacting the structures for these powerful sociotechnical imaginaries. I engage the HGP and ELSI through historical, sociological, and political philosophical analysis, by examining their immediate context of the NIH, the meso level of professional/disciplinary bioethics, and the larger context of American democracy and modernity. My argument is simultaneously a claim about how questions are asked and how knowledge and expertise are made, exposing the relationship between the HGP and ELSI as a mutually constitutive and reciprocally related form of coproduction of knowledge and social structures. I finish by arguing that ELSI is in a better position than bioethics to carry out the original project of that field, i.e., to provide a space to elucidate certain institutionally authorized questions about science and technology. Finally, I venture into making a prophecy about the future of ELSI and bioethics: that the former will replace the latter as a locus for only formally rational and thin ethical debates.

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Date Created
2012

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Enhancing the math and science experiences of Latinas and Latinos: a study of the Joaquín Bustoz Math-Science Honors Program

Description

Latinas and Latinos are currently underrepresented in terms of our 21st century student academic attainment and workforce, compared to the total U.S. Hispanic population. In a field such as mathematical sciences, Hispanic or Latino U.S. citizenship doctoral recipients only accounted

Latinas and Latinos are currently underrepresented in terms of our 21st century student academic attainment and workforce, compared to the total U.S. Hispanic population. In a field such as mathematical sciences, Hispanic or Latino U.S. citizenship doctoral recipients only accounted for 3.04% in 2009-2010. While there are various initiatives to engage underrepresented STEM populations through education, there is a need to give a voice to the experiences of Latinas and Latinos engaged in such programs. This study explored the experiences of seven Arizona State University undergraduate Latina and Latino Joaquín Bustoz Math-Science Honors Program (JBMSHP) participants as well as examined how the program enhanced their math and science learning experiences. Participants attended either a five-week or eight-week program and ranged in attendance from 2006 to 2011. Students were provided an opportunity to begin university mathematics and science studies before graduating high school. Through a demographic survey and one-on-one guided interview, participants shared their personal journey, their experience in the JBMSHP, and their goals. Using grounded theory, a qualitative research approach, this study focuses on the unique experiences of Latina and Latino participants. Four major themes emerged from the analysis of the data. Each participant applied to the program with a foundation in which they sought to challenge themselves academically through mathematics and/or science. Through their involvement it the JBMSHP, participants recognized benefits during and after the program. All participants recognized the value of these benefits and their participation and praised the program. Overall, the JBMSHP provided the students the resources to grow their academic capital and if they chose seek a STEM related bachelor degree. The results of this study emphasize the need to expand the JBMSHP both within Arizona and nationally. In addition, there is a need to explore the other components of their parent center, the Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center (MCMSC), to determine if the suggested pipeline, MCMSC Model for Enhancing the Math and Science Experiences of Latinas and Latinos, can positively impact our 21st century workforce and the dire representational need of Latinas and Latinos in STEM fields.

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Date Created
2012

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Pathways of knowing: integrating citizen science and critical thinking in the adult ELL classroom

Description

This action research study examines what common perceptions and constructs currently exist in educating adult immigrants in Arizona and considers how might the integration of citizen science with the current English curriculum promote higher order thinking and educational equity in

This action research study examines what common perceptions and constructs currently exist in educating adult immigrants in Arizona and considers how might the integration of citizen science with the current English curriculum promote higher order thinking and educational equity in this population. A citizen science project called the Mastodon Matrix Project was introduced to a Level 2 ELAA (English Language Acquisition for Adults) classroom and aligned with the Arizona Adult Standards for ELAA education. Pre and post attitudinal surveys, level tests, and personal meaning maps were implemented to assess student attitudes towards science, views on technology, English skills, and knowledge gained as a result of doing citizen science over a period of 8 weeks.

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Date Created
2012

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Gendered interactions and their interpersonal and academic consequences: a dynamical perspective

Description

In response to the recent publication and media coverage of several books that support educating boys and girls separately, more public schools in the United States are beginning to offer same-sex schooling options. Indeed, students may be more comfortable interacting

In response to the recent publication and media coverage of several books that support educating boys and girls separately, more public schools in the United States are beginning to offer same-sex schooling options. Indeed, students may be more comfortable interacting solely with same-sex peers, as boys and girls often have difficulty in their interactions with each other; however, given that boys and girls often interact beyond the classroom, researchers must discover why boys and girls suffer difficult other-sex interactions and determine what can be done to improve them. We present two studies aimed at examining such processes. Both studies were conducted from a dynamical systems perspective that highlights the role of variability in dyadic social interactions to capture temporal changes in interpersonal coordination. The first focused on the utility of applying dynamics to the study of same- and mixed-sex interactions and examined the relation of the quality of those interactions to participants' perceptions of their interaction partners. The second study was an extension of the first, examining how dynamical dyadic coordination affected students' self-perceived abilities and beliefs in science, with the intention of examining social predictors of girls' and women's under-representation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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Date Created
2012

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Explicit teaching of the nature of science: a study of the impact of two variations of explicit instruction on student learning

Description

The nature of science (NOS) is included in the National Science Education Standards and is described as a critical component in the development of scientifically literate students. Despite the significance of NOS in science education reform, research shows that many

The nature of science (NOS) is included in the National Science Education Standards and is described as a critical component in the development of scientifically literate students. Despite the significance of NOS in science education reform, research shows that many students continue to possess naïve views of NOS. Explicit and reflective discussion as an instructional approach is relatively new in the field of research in NOS. When compared to other approaches, explicit instruction has been identified as more effective in promoting informed views of NOS, but gaps in student understanding still exist. The purpose of this study was to deepen the understanding of student learning of NOS through the investigation of two variations of explicit instruction. The subjects of the study were two seventh grade classes taught by the same classroom teacher. One class received explicit instruction of NOS within a plate tectonics unit and the second class received explicit instruction of NOS within a plate tectonics unit plus supporting activities focused on specific aspects of NOS. The instruction time for both classes was equalized and took place over a three week time period. The intention of this study was to see if the additional NOS activities helped students build a deeper understanding of NOS, or if a deep understanding could be formed solely through explicit and reflective discussion within content instruction. The results of the study showed that both classes progressed in their understanding of NOS. When the results of the two groups were compared, the group with the additional activities showed statistically significant gains on two of the four aspects of NOS assessed. These results suggest that the activities may have been valuable in promoting informed views, but more research is needed in this area.

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Agent

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Date Created
2011

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The attainment of a science degree by African American college students at Arizona State University: an investigation to identify the barriers and affordances

Description

Historically, African American students have been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). If African American students continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, they will not have access to valuable and high-paying sectors of the

Historically, African American students have been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). If African American students continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, they will not have access to valuable and high-paying sectors of the economy. Despite the number of African Americans in these fields being disproportionately low, there are still individuals that persist and complete science degrees. The aim of this study was to investigate African American students who excel in science at Arizona State University and examine the barriers and affordances that they encounter on their journey toward graduation. Qualitative research methods were used to address the research question of the study. My methodology included creating a case study to investigate the experiences of eight African American undergraduate college students at Arizona State University. These four male and four female students were excelling sophomores, juniors, or seniors who were majoring in a science field. Two of the males came from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, while two of the males were from higher SES backgrounds. The same applied to the four female participants. My research utilized surveys, semistructured interviews, and student observations to collect data that was analyzed and coded to determine common themes and elements that exist between the students. As a result of the data collection opportunities, peer support and financial support were identified as barriers, while, parental support, financial support, peer support, and teacher support were identified as affordances. In analyzing the data, the results indicated that for the student subjects in this study, sex and SES did not have any relationship with the barriers and affordances experienced.

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Agent

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Date Created
2012