ERIC Number: EJ1134106
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Engaging Karen Refugee Students in Science Learning through a Cross-Cultural Learning Community
Harper, Susan G.
International Journal of Science Education, v39 n3 p358-376 2017
This research explored how Karen (first-generation refugees from Burma) elementary students engaged with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) practice of constructing scientific explanations based on evidence within the context of a cross-cultural learning community. In this action research, the researcher and a Karen parent served as co-teachers for fourth- and fifth-grade Karen and non-Karen students in a science and culture after-school programme in a public elementary school in the rural southeastern United States. Photovoice provided a critical platform for students to create their own cultural discourses for the learning community. The theoretical framework of critical pedagogy of place provided a way for the learning community to decolonise and re-inhabit the learning spaces with knowledge they co-constructed. Narrative analysis of video transcripts of the after-school programme, ethnographic interviews, and focus group discussions from Photovoice revealed a pattern of emerging agency by Karen students in the scientific practice of constructing scientific explanations based on evidence and in Karen language lessons. This evidence suggests that science learning embedded within a cross-cultural learning community can empower refugee students to construct their own hybrid cultural knowledge and leverage that knowledge to engage in a meaningful way with the epistemology of science.
Descriptors: Refugees, Elementary School Students, Science Instruction, Cultural Awareness, Grade 4, Grade 5, Evidence, Teaching Methods, Action Research, Foreign Countries, Culturally Relevant Education, Indigenous Knowledge, Photography, Interviews, Participant Observation, Video Technology, Journal Writing, Focus Groups
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Burma