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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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The: impact of the social norms of education on beginning science teachers' understanding of NOS during their first three years in the classroom

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An understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) remains a fundamental goal of science education in the Unites States. A developed understanding of NOS provides a framework in which to situate science knowledge. Secondary science teachers play a critical role

An understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) remains a fundamental goal of science education in the Unites States. A developed understanding of NOS provides a framework in which to situate science knowledge. Secondary science teachers play a critical role in providing students with an introduction to understanding NOS. Unfortunately, due to the high turnover rates of secondary science teachers in the United States, this critical role is often filled by relatively novice teachers. These beginning secondary science teachers make instructional decisions regarding science that are drawn from their emerging knowledge base, including a tentative understanding of NOS. This tentative knowledge can be affected by environment and culture of the classroom, school, and district in which beginning teachers find themselves. When examining NOS among preservice and beginning teachers the background and demographics of the teachers are often ignored. These teachers are treated as a homogenous block in terms of their initial understanding of NOS. This oversight potentially ignores interactions that may happen over time as teachers cross the border from college students, preservice teachers, and scientists into the classroom environment. Through Symbolic Interactionism we can explain how teachers change in order to adapt to their new surroundings and how this adaptation may be detrimental to their understanding of NOS and ultimately to their practice. 63 teachers drawn from a larger National Science Foundation (NSF) funded study were interviewed about their understanding of NOS over three years. Several demographic factors including college major, preservice program, number of History and Philosophy of Science classes, and highest academic degree achieve were shown to have an affect on the understanding of NOS over time. In addition, over time, the teachers tended to 'converge' in their understanding of NOS regardless of preservice experiences or induction support. Both the affect of different demographics amongst teachers and the 'converging' aspect of their understanding of NOS provide much needed insight for teacher trainers, mentors, and researchers.

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Date Created
2011