The city as a research site: Using  inquiry with English language learning students in an urban middle school  to investig...
Problem <ul><li>An increase in English language learning (ELL) students from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences ...
<ul><li>Inquiry-based instruction may better connect English language learning and other students from diverse cultural an...
Theoretical Frameworks <ul><li>Teaching Science as Inquiry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Dewey, 1914; AAAS, 1990; NRC, 1996, 2000...
Science as Inquiry <ul><li>National Science Education Standards (NSES)  Student Performance Indicators of Inquiry : </li><...
Cultural Congruency <ul><li>Build upon students’ cultural understandings by  </li></ul><ul><li>providing students with the...
Instructional Congruency <ul><li>Sharing scientific authority </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing in diverse cultural experiences a...
Context: Eastern Middle School <ul><li>Dual language middle school in New York City </li></ul><ul><li>Provides bilingual i...
Curriculum  <ul><li>The school engages in an “Integrated Projects Month” (IPM), where teachers and student  groups partici...
Case Study <ul><li>The nature of instruction and implementation of an inquiry-based instructional unit by a novice teacher...
The Teacher <ul><li>Beth, a first-year 7 th  grade teacher </li></ul><ul><li>emergency-credentialed to teach science </li>...
The Teacher, Her Students, and Her Peers <ul><li>Beth taught one group of 11 students, and she collaborated with two other...
Research Questions <ul><li>To what extent did this teacher use an inquiry-based approach in her classroom?  </li></ul><ul>...
Data <ul><li>Interviews with the teacher before the instructional unit </li></ul><ul><li>Observations of instruction for t...
<ul><li>Video segment: June 12th, 2008 in classroom.  Students report out findings on school issues and teacher frames pro...
Data Analyses <ul><ul><li>Content analysis of transcripts using components of the framework for instructional congruence  ...
Findings: Teacher’s views of inquiry <ul><li>“ When it comes to science, it’s about the process of investigation and how t...
Findings: S cientific authority in the classroom <ul><li>Beth recognized the need to make scientific ways of questioning e...
Findings: Components of inquiry- justifying <ul><li>Analisa: This is our green roof. </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher: Okay, a...
Findings: d iversity of cultural experiences <ul><li>S tudents’ experiences outside of school  </li></ul><ul><li>  brought...
Findings: Integrating culture and experience <ul><li>“ Like, in the other school- you went, right? (yeah) we saw the recyc...
Findings: Students engaged <ul><li>When asked how they would rate the experience of researching, designing, and building t...
Findings: Overall <ul><li>First-year teacher used guided-inquiry in the classroom; however, instruction did not demonstrat...
Implications for Science Teacher Education <ul><li>Collaboration with other teachers supported this teacher in developing ...
Further Research–  <ul><li>The impact of inquiry-based instruction and instructionally congruent strategies on ELL student...
Xenia Meyer  Doctoral Student, Cornell University [email_address]   Barbara Crawford  Associate Professor, Cornell Univers...
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The city as a research site: Using inquiry with English language learning students in an urban middle school to investigate ecological concepts

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The city as a research site: Using inquiry with English language learning students in an urban middle school to investigate ecological concepts

  1. 1. The city as a research site: Using inquiry with English language learning students in an urban middle school to investigate ecological concepts Xenia Meyer and Barbara A. Crawford Cornell University Annual NARST Conference, Baltimore, MD, Spring 2008
  2. 2. Problem <ul><li>An increase in English language learning (ELL) students from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences ( Fine, Jaffe-Walter, Pedraza, Futch, and Stoudt, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Shortage of experienced science educators in urban schools </li></ul><ul><li>Need to develop alternative instructional approaches to engage ELL and other diverse student groups in learning science </li></ul><ul><li>“ Science education is successful only to the extent that science can find a niche in the cognitive and socio-cultural milieu of students.” (Cobern,1993, p. 57) </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Inquiry-based instruction may better connect English language learning and other students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to science learning (Amaral, Garrison, & Klentschy, 2002; </li></ul><ul><li>Lee, Buxton, Lewis, & LeRoy, 2006) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Theoretical Frameworks <ul><li>Teaching Science as Inquiry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Dewey, 1914; AAAS, 1990; NRC, 1996, 2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultural and Instructional Congruency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Lee & Fradd, 1998; Lee, 2002; Luykx & Lee, 2007) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Science as Inquiry <ul><li>National Science Education Standards (NSES) Student Performance Indicators of Inquiry : </li></ul><ul><li>• E ngaging in scientifically oriented questions ; </li></ul><ul><li>• Giving priority to evidence in responding questions; </li></ul><ul><li>• Formulating explanations from evidence; </li></ul><ul><li>• Connecting explanations to scientific knowledge ; </li></ul><ul><li>• Communicating and justifying findings </li></ul><ul><li>(National Research Council [NRC], 2000, p. 29). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Cultural Congruency <ul><li>Build upon students’ cultural understandings by </li></ul><ul><li>providing students with the opportunity to bring their </li></ul><ul><li>diverse experiences into the classroom (Lee, 2002). </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusive of cultural differences (i.e. language, home </li></ul><ul><li>culture, response time, etc.) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Instructional Congruency <ul><li>Sharing scientific authority </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing in diverse cultural experiences and materials </li></ul><ul><li>Using students’ home language in classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Providing linguistic scaffolding to enhance meaning </li></ul>(Luykx & Lee, 2007)
  8. 8. Context: Eastern Middle School <ul><li>Dual language middle school in New York City </li></ul><ul><li>Provides bilingual instruction to nearly 180 Latino Spanish-speaking and English language learning (ELL) students at the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade-levels </li></ul><ul><li>School site recently developed a curriculum based on inquiry and integrated ecological concepts </li></ul>
  9. 9. Curriculum <ul><li>The school engages in an “Integrated Projects Month” (IPM), where teachers and student groups participate in local ecological investigations over a 3-4 week period. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students research and present their findings to other classmates at the same grade level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students are evaluated using alternative assessments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instruction includes components of math, literacy, and learning about historical context embedded into science learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IPM topic examples: investigating water quality in Central Park, waste in NYC, the composting process, using green design, etc. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Case Study <ul><li>The nature of instruction and implementation of an inquiry-based instructional unit by a novice teacher in a culturally and linguistically diverse urban middle-school classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Method </li></ul><ul><li>Participant observation case study in </li></ul><ul><li>collaboration with the focus science teacher </li></ul><ul><li>(Merriam, 1988; Yin, 1984/1989) </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Teacher <ul><li>Beth, a first-year 7 th grade teacher </li></ul><ul><li>emergency-credentialed to teach science </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Undergraduate degree in Natural Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bilingual in Cantonese </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participated in a professional development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>program focused on integrated curriculum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>development and inquiry </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The Teacher, Her Students, and Her Peers <ul><li>Beth taught one group of 11 students, and she collaborated with two other teachers in the Discovery concept group. </li></ul><ul><li>Beth’s student group investigated Green Design and alternatives for improving their school site in smaller student groups of 3 and 4. </li></ul><ul><li>The larger concept group used a collaboratively planned the curriculum unit and participated in a weekend retreat, and field-trips to a local landfill and another school with a rooftop garden </li></ul>
  13. 13. Research Questions <ul><li>To what extent did this teacher use an inquiry-based approach in her classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>To what extent was her teaching approach instructionally congruent? </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways, if any, did ELL students engage in science learning? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Data <ul><li>Interviews with the teacher before the instructional unit </li></ul><ul><li>Observations of instruction for ten days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Videotaped lessons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Field notes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tape-recorded student group interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conversations with students and student surveys </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Video segment: June 12th, 2008 in classroom. Students report out findings on school issues and teacher frames project for further research (54:28). </li></ul>
  16. 16. Data Analyses <ul><ul><li>Content analysis of transcripts using components of the framework for instructional congruence (Luykx & Lee, 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content analysis of transcripts using National Science Education Standards (National Research Council: 1996, 2000) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Findings: Teacher’s views of inquiry <ul><li>“ When it comes to science, it’s about the process of investigation and how they’re able to research on their own and investigate on their own.” (lines 16-17, June 8 th , 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Let’s say they have questions that they wonder about… why the sky is blue?.... and instead of looking for one resource, such as the teacher… they go out on their own and try to find it… that is science… you know.” (lines 17-20, June 8 th , 2007) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Findings: S cientific authority in the classroom <ul><li>Beth recognized the need to make scientific ways of questioning explicit to students and allowing space for student-driven questions, and connecting to student’s own experiences. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transcript excerpt: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some of them really need to come up with questions… just… I think that they don’t think they have any questions about the world… sort of… about, like, why does this happened… it doesn’t occur to them that they have such questions… and so science is sort of a way to open that up a little more… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> (June 8 th , 2007, lines 24-28) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Findings: Components of inquiry- justifying <ul><li>Analisa: This is our green roof. </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher: Okay, and what have you got there? </li></ul><ul><li>Analisa: This is leaves from the garden which is supposed to be grass, [okay] and then this is solar panels to get energy from the sun, so it’s using less energy and making less pollution </li></ul><ul><li>(June 19th, 2007, Lines 14-18) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Findings: d iversity of cultural experiences <ul><li>S tudents’ experiences outside of school </li></ul><ul><li> brought into planning for urban design. </li></ul><ul><li>Site visits to local landfills, parks, and urban </li></ul><ul><li> buildings with Green Design provided students with a common context for </li></ul><ul><li> discussion and reflection. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Findings: Integrating culture and experience <ul><li>“ Like, in the other school- you went, right? (yeah) we saw the recycle and the green can and the blue can and we could use a lot of those for you know, the cafeteria and you know, if you just like—when we went to Camp M, we learned that leftovers, you could use them for that and that’s a good way to restore whatever we don’t like or whatever we don’t want.” </li></ul><ul><li>(June 19th, 2007, Lines 74-94) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Findings: Students engaged <ul><li>When asked how they would rate the experience of researching, designing, and building their own projects during the IPM, 9/10 responded that they liked it a lot. </li></ul><ul><li>Student comments in response to the open-ended survey question “What did you like best about doing a research project?”: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I LOVED it when we finally started building our green buildings” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Designing my own building” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Models that my partners and I built” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Findings: Overall <ul><li>First-year teacher used guided-inquiry in the classroom; however, instruction did not demonstrate the instantiation of complete inquiry. </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom environment supported certain aspects of cultural congruence during instruction; however instructional congruence in science and nature of science was not made explicit. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Implications for Science Teacher Education <ul><li>Collaboration with other teachers supported this teacher in developing curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>More support is needed during implementation of inquiry-based instruction for novice teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher educators should provide teachers with frameworks, such as the instructional congruency framework of Luykx & Lee (2007), to help teachers understand components of inquiry-based and instructionally congruent strategies. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Further Research– <ul><li>The impact of inquiry-based instruction and instructionally congruent strategies on ELL student performance in science </li></ul><ul><li>To what extent participation in an authentic scientific investigation supports English language development for high school students </li></ul>
  26. 26. Xenia Meyer Doctoral Student, Cornell University [email_address] Barbara Crawford Associate Professor, Cornell University [email_address] Cornell University

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