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.
Galloway, F. & Shea, M. M. (2009). Does your organization welcome participants with disabilities? A new assessment tool. Afterschool Matters, 9, 12–19.
With an increase in the enrollments of youth with disabilities in afterschool programs, organizations must evaluate if their programs truly welcome children and youth with disabilities. The authors of this study developed a valid and statistically reliable instrument, Organizational Developmental Model of Inclusion for Individuals with Disabilities (ODMI-IWD), to assist the program providers in developing policies to improve on perceived weakness in the areas of inclusion: diversity, differential treatment, congruency, motivational imperative, and experience.
Van Eijck, M. & Roth, W.-M. (2009). Authentic science experiences as a vehicle to change students’ orientations toward science and scientific career choices: Learning from the path followed by Brad. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 611–638.
This study aims to answer two questions important to informal science learning: What is “authentic”? And, why do we want students to have authentic science learning experiences? Using ethnographic methods, the authors developed a case study over the course of one year of an Aboriginal student, Brad, who participated in a scientific internship program that included both nature conservation and laboratory work. This study analyzes how Brad’s cultural identity interacted, influenced, and hybridized with the scientific and other practices he participated in during his internship. The paper will be of interest to ISE educators exploring how program experiences interact with identity to encourage expanded participation in STEM.
Malone, K. R., & Barabino, G. (2009). Narrations of race in STEM research settings: Identity formation and its discontents. Science Education, 93(3), 485–510.
This study investigates specific challenges that students of color have in developing a personal identity related to science. The researchers examined how experiences in graduate school programs shaped the emergent identities of African-American women students in science and engineering. The study sheds light on the barriers cultural minority students might face in their pursuit of science in school and in careers, and suggests that educators might help to prepare students for these experiences.
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.
Levinson, R. (2010). Science education and democratic participation: An uneasy congruence. Studies in Science Education, 46(1), 69–119.
Democratic participation is supposed to be enabled by the skills of scientific literacy. But there are several models of democratic participation—deficit, deliberative, and more radical forms. The author of this paper argues that educators need to make explicit to students the political and hegemonic bases underlying these models as well as the role of scientific knowledge and decision-making. This paper may be of interest to ISE educators leading programs supporting scientific literacy through argumentation, participation, and
This paper contributes to a growing body of literature examining ways of supporting teaching and learning of socio-scientific issues (SSIs). Comparing experiences in two schools—one with a monoethnic student population, the other multiethnic—the study finds that both groups of students struggle with meaningful engagement in SSIs.
Lyon, G., Jafri, J., & St. Louis, K. (2012). Beyond the pipeline: STEM pathways for youth development. Afterschool Matters, 16 , 48–57.
This article critiques the concept the “STEM pipeline,” an analogy commonly used in education and policy discussions to describe the academic progression of students from K–12 through higher education. The authors’ new conceptual framework supports youth development goals in addition to STEM learning and reflects the experience of urban youth in out-of-school time settings.
Brown, B.A., Ryoo, K. & Rodriguez. J. (2010). Pathway towards fluency: Using ‘disaggregate instruction’ to promote science literacy. International Journal of Science Education, 32(11), 1465–1493.
The premise underpinning this study is that a learner’s ability to describe and engage conceptually with scientific phenomena is dependent upon his or her ability to understand and use scientific language. The authors thus argue that teaching and learning of science should be divided into conceptual and discursive components, an approach they call ‘disaggregate instruction.’ The authors found that students taught in this manner outperformed those taught traditionally. The authors highlight the impact of this finding for all educators, and note that it may be particularly significant for educators working with diverse learner populations.
Rule, A. C., Stefanich, G. P., Boody, R. M., & Peiffer, B. (2011). Impact of adaptive materials on teachers and their students with visual impairments in secondary science and mathematics classes. International Journal of Science Education 33(6), 865–887.
This paper reports on a change in teacher attitudes toward visually impaired students following a yearlong programme that provided funds for adaptive resources, supplies, and equipment. People with disabilities are notably absent from STEM fields. This paper argues that providing teachers with resources and training to support learners with special education needs may help to address this shortfall while enhancing the learning experience for all.