ERIC Number: ED203721
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Consequences of Bilingualism in a Science Inquiry Program.
Kessler, Carolyn; Quinn, Mary Ellen
The achievement of bilingualism appears to have positive consequences for the bilingual child, enhancing universal aspects of cognitive functioning available to all normal children. However, little is yet known about the interaction between educational treatment and the input factors the bilingual child brings to the situation. Focusing on the interaction of a science inquiry program with aspects of cognitive functioning and bilingualism, this paper presents empirical evidence that bilingualism has a positive effect on the ability of students to formulate scientific hypotheses or solutions to science problems. It compares the effects of teaching hypothesis formation to bilingual children proficient in both Spanish and English with results from monolingual English-speaking children. The children were 11-year-old sixth graders in 6 intact classrooms in the Philadelphia area and in San Antonio, Texas. Three groups were monolingual and three were bilingual; they were matched for other variables. Previous studies had indicated that cognitive ability to formulate scientific hypotheses functions independently of socio-economic level. Results show that children in the bilingual experimental groups performed significantly better than the monolinguals. The hypothesizing process is discussed in terms of Piaget's theory, and implications are drawn for both language and science education. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Hypothesis Formulation; Piagetian Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association (4th, Dallas, TX, January 29-31, 1981).