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ERIC Number: ED513571
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 253
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-4261-4
ISSN: N/A
Young African American Children Constructing Identities in an Urban Integrated Science-Literacy Classroom
Kane, Justine M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
This is a qualitative study of identities constructed and enacted by four 3rd-grade African American children (two girls and two boys) in an urban classroom that engaged in a year-long, integrated science-literacy project. Juxtaposing narrative and discursive identity lenses, coupled with race and gender perspectives, I examined the ways in which the four children saw and performed themselves as students and as science students in their classroom. Interview data were used for the narrative analysis and classroom Discourse and artifacts were used for the discursive analysis. A constructivist grounded theory framework was adopted for both analyses. The findings highlight the diversity and richness of perspectives and forms of engagement these young children shared and enacted, and help us see African American children as knowers, doers, and talkers of science individually and collectively. In their stories about themselves, all the children identified themselves as smart but they associated with smartness different characteristics and practices depending on their strengths and preferences. Drawing on the children's social, cultural, and ethnolinguistic resources, the dialogic and multimodal learning spaces facilitated by their teacher allowed the children to explore, negotiate, question, and learn science ideas. The children in this study brought their understandings and ways of being into the "lived-in" spaces co-created with classmates and teacher and influenced how these spaces were created. At the same time, each child's ways of being and understandings were shaped by the words, actions, behaviors, and feelings of peers and teacher. Moreover, as these four children engaged with science-literacy activities, they came to see themselves as competent, creative, active participants in science learning. Although their stories of "studenting" seemed dominated by following rules and being well-behaved, their stories of "sciencing" were filled with exploration, ingenuity, risk taking, and thinking. The study calls for (a) research that is positioned within children's perspectives and give voice to the experiences of African American children in urban schools, (b) teacher education that supports teachers' efforts to help urban school students become academically successful, and (c) policy that foregrounds identity development along with subject-matter learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A