ERIC Number: EJ1012044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 10
Embracing Diversity in the Science Classroom
Deaton, Cynthia C. Minchew; Deaton, Benjamin E.
Kappa Delta Pi Record, v49 n2 p88-92 2013
As each school year starts, teachers are faced with teaching and building relationships with students from diverse backgrounds. To effectively teach students, science teachers (and teachers in general) must develop an understanding of students' culture, background, and language. Knowing these factors, as well as students' learning needs, is crucial to developing a repertoire of effective teaching strategies that value and engage these learners in the science classroom. In a study on eight elementary teachers' reflections on their science teaching practice when working with English Language Learners (ELLs), the teachers consistently noted four types of strategies they found to be effective in embracing the differences in their classroom and helping students make connections to science content. The teachers worked in schools that had from 50% to 83% of their students classified as Limited English Proficient. The four categories of strategies found to be effective were: (1) Building on students' personal science experiences; (2 ) Creating relevant inquiry activities; (3) Respecting students' communities; and (4) Understanding student learning needs. This article discusses each strategy, describes how it was used by the teachers, and provides examples that practicing teachers can use to engage ELLs in science.
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, English Language Learners, Classroom Techniques, Student Diversity, Cultural Awareness, Educational Strategies, Limited English Speaking, Educational Practices, Student Experience, Student Centered Curriculum, Relevance (Education), Parent Teacher Cooperation, Science Teachers, Elementary School Science
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A