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Amy Cox-Petersen - Leah M. Melber
Teaching Science to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Elementary Students
Teaching Science to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Elementary Students helps K-8 teachers implement culturally relevant instructional strategies to ensure that all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic class, can do science, like science, and become scientists if they choose.
In America’s increasingly diverse classrooms, science is not always presented in a way that is meaningful to all students. With this in mind, this book outlines eight culturally relevant strategies for teaching science to help ensure all students have access to inquiry-based, interactive, and experiential science learning. Written to encourage inclusive practices, the book shows how to teach science using students’ experiences, how to integrate science and literacy and how to use alternative methods to assess students’ understanding of science.
"I have used Science Backpacks and found them a wonderful way to extend the school day and involve families in their child’s learning…Many ideas [in the book] were new to me and I enjoyed the fact that they were very simple to implement, yet would be a valuable use of my time."
- Kristi Trotter Hattenhauer, Science Coach/Lab Facilitator, Jonesboro Math and Science Magnet School, Jonesboro, AR
"This book combines all the elements of what is needed to successful teach in a culturally relevant way a subject that many minorities feel offer no connection to their present day lives or future goal attainment. Additionally, it can serve as a springboard for discussions on how teachers can improve the job that they are doing at better teaching and reaching all students."
- Cheryl Harris Curtis, Educational Consultant II, NC Department of Public Instruction, Raleigh, NC
Amy Cox-Petersen, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education at California State University, Fullerton. She has over 25 years of experience within multiple educational settings and has taught in urban, suburban, and rural schools as an elementary and middle school teacher. Amy is an international presenter on topics related to science teacher education and learning science outside the formal classroom and is the author of Educational Partnerships: Connecting Schools, Families, and the Community.
Leah M. Melber, Ph.D. is the Director of Student and Teacher Programs at Lincoln Park Zoo and has 20 years experience within science education as a third grade teacher, university professor in science education, Science Education Specialist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and has served as consultant in the area of informal education for museums around the nation. Leah has written numerous journal articles and recently authored the book “Informal Learning and Field Trips”. She is the recipient of the 2001 Informal Educator Award from California Science Teachers Association, the 2010 Promising Leadership Award from the Association of Midwest Museums, candidate of the Fulbright Specialist Roster in the focus area of education.
Terri Patchen, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education at California State University, Fullerton. A credentialed bilingual teacher, she taught kindergarten in a lower-income, Spanish speaking classroom for close to ten years before getting graduate degrees in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has published in journals as diverse as Multicultural Education and Science Education and regularly presents at education conferences. She is a lifelong advocate for the benefits of working with English learners.
Teaching Science with Access for all Students
Eight Explicit Strategies to Encourage Cultural Relevant Science Instruction
Challenges for Students from Non-English Language Backgrounds
Case Study 1.1: Snapshot of Ahna’s Culturally Relevant Classroom
Chapter 2: Culturally Relevant Inquiry and Action
Scientific Methods and Processes
Inquiry Process Skills
Teacher as Facilitator
Effective Use of Questioning
Allowing Students to be Experts
Integrating Inquiry across the Curriculum
Extending the Walls of the Classroom
Building Fluency outside the Classroom
Case Study 2.1: Expect the Unexpected
Chapter 3: Literacy Development through Science
Importance of Authentic Connections
Language Arts and the Work of Scientists
Reviewing Information Sources
Extending the Experience
Case Study 3.1: Sixth Grade Service Learning Project
Chapter 4: Teaching Strategies that Promote Science Access for All Students
Integrating Cognitive Views of Learning
Making Models of Teaching more Culturally Relevant
Case Study 4.1: Teachers and Students participating in a Group Investigation science activity
Chapter 5: Assessment, Evaluation, and Culturally and Linguistically-Diverse Students
Multidimensional assessment procedures
Different Assessment Methods
Assessing Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs
Assessing Portfolios, Products, and Performances
Case Study 5.1: Mrs. Weirath’s Garden
Chapter 6: Family Connections
Creating new collaborative frameworks for culturally relevant practice with families and communities
Joyce Epstein’s (2001) Six Types of Involvement for Families and Schools
Building Home-School Partnerships
Connecting Science with Students’ Community
Case Study 6.1: Family Science Night
Chapter 7: Keeping Current and Assessing Resources
Eight Explicit Culturally-Relevant Strategies Revisited
Planning and Preparation
Integration of Technology
Grants Available to Schools and Teachers
Case Study 7.1: Mrs. Rey and Hands-On Science