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ERIC Number: EJ782412
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 30
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 87
ISSN: ISSN-0022-4308
Thematic Continuities: Talking and Thinking about Adaptation in a Socially Complex Classroom
Ash, Doris
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v45 n1 p1-30 Jan 2008
In this study I rely on sociocultural views of learning and teaching to describe how fifth- sixth-grade students in a Fostering a Community of Learners (FCL) classroom gradually adopted scientific ideas and language in a socially complex classroom. Students practiced talking science together, using everyday, scientific, and hybrid discourses as they studied endangered species. Students' overarching content themes, or "thematic continuities," acted as generative scaffolds for developing complex lines of inquiry, leading ultimately to the appropriation of aspects of the biological principle of adaptation. Thematic continuities provided an organizing framework for thinking and talking about previously disconnected science facts, and set the stage for the adaptationist stance. Mixed method data analyses relied on written assessments, in-depth guided clinical interviews, video and audiotaping of small and large group participant structures, in-class student work, and ethnographic notes. Data analysis included two discrete levels, the macro (whole and half class) and the intermediate (case study of one small group) to capture both holistic and detailed aspects of dialogue. (Contains 2 figures and 6 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Grade 6; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California