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Early Science Instruction and Academic Language Development Can Go Hand in Hand. The Promising Effects of a Low-Intensity Teacher-Focused Intervention

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Abstract

Early science instruction is important in order to lay a firm basis for learning scientific concepts and scientific thinking. In addition, young children enjoy science. However, science plays only a minor role in the kindergarten curriculum. It has been reported that teachers feel they need to prioritize language and literacy practices over science. In this paper, we investigate whether science lessons might be integrated with learning the language functional for school: academic language. The occurrence of scientific reasoning and sophisticated vocabulary in brief science lessons with 5-year-olds is evaluated. The aim of the study was twofold: first, to explore the nature of kindergarten science discourse without any researcher directions (pre-intervention observation). Second, in a randomized control trial, we evaluated the effect on science discourse of a brief teacher training session focused on academic language awareness. The science lessons focussed on air pressure and mirror reflection. Analyses showed that teachers from the intervention group increased their use of scientific reasoning and of domain-specific academic words in their science discourse, compared to the control group. For the use of general academic words and for lexical diversity, the effect was task-specific: these dependent measures only increased during the air pressure task. Implications of the study include the need to increase teachers' awareness of possibilities to combine early science instruction and academic language learning.

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... For instance, Booth (2009) found that preschool-aged children demonstrated greater retention of words when paired with conceptual property descriptions than those with non-conceptual properties. Compared with the other approaches to teach vocabulary (e.g., storybook reading), science instruction provides numerous ways for teachers to address both conceptual knowledge and vocabulary, such as mapping particular vocabulary onto children's mental representation about concepts (Henrichs and Leseman 2014;Hong and Diamond 2012). Thus, science classrooms provide rich contexts where children can process vocabulary more deeply, by building the relationship between concepts and vocabulary and articulating their conceptual understanding through words. ...
... Typical approaches to teach vocabulary, such as storybook reading, primarily focus on improving children's knowledge of Tier 2 vocabulary words, rather than Tier 3 vocabulary words (e.g., Justice et al. 2005). Yet, a focus on science provides children the opportunity to acquire a great deal of both Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary (e.g., Henrichs and Leseman 2014;Spycher 2009). ...
... There were three studies that examined the effects of science interventions on young children's vocabulary learning (French 2004;Henrichs and Leseman 2014;Hong and Diamond 2012). The results in Fig. 1 showed that science interventions demonstrated medium to large effect sizes for vocabulary outcomes. ...
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This article synthesized science instruction studies with preschool and kindergarten children to understand the magnitude of science instruction’s impact on young children’s vocabulary outcomes. A total of seven studies that met criteria for the synthesis and provided sufficient data for the calculation of effect size were included. Science instruction has been examined using science intervention and vocabulary intervention with a focus on science. The overall mean effect size was moderate (0.66), suggesting that a focus on science increased young children’s vocabulary outcomes. Science instruction appears to promote young children’s domain-specific words. Educational implications of these findings suggest that there is support for using science instruction to increase the vocabulary performance of young children.
... Science lessons provide an appropriate context for expanding these necessary language skills giving students the chance to become proficient in using sophisticated words and complex syntax to express ideas (French, 2004;French & Peterson, 2009;Gelman & Brenneman, 2004;Snow, 2014). Several science interventions have indicated significant gains in students' vocabulary, for instance, in the use of more sophisticated terms (French, 2004;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Hong & Diamond, 2012). Other research has shown positive changes in students' syntactic complexity after an intervention directed at improving teacher questioning skills (Lee, Kinzie, & Whittaker, 2012). ...
... The underlying idea was that science learning can only take place if students are challenged to think and talk about those activities (Lutz, Guthrie, & Davis, 2006;van Keulen & Sol, 2012). Structured guidance is essential because it is tempting for students to only actively explore the materials (hands-on) instead of thinking and talking about those materials in order to come to a deeper understanding (minds-on) (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). In order to organise the thinking process of students and turn a handson activity into a rich learning experience, teachers in the CMC intervention were taught to arrange their science lessons according to the empirical cycle (de Groot, 1994;Dejonckheere et al., 2009). ...
... The students' increase in lexical sophistication was also smaller than expected, based on previous studies that focused on improving vocabulary in science activities. However, in most of these studies the focus was on explicit learning of science vocabulary (French, 2004;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Hong & Diamond, 2012). It may be speculated that explicit word-learning strategies immediately become visible in the students' language use, while more implicit or deductive language-learning strategieswhich were the focus of the current interventionmay have a more longterm effect on students' language development. ...
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We developed a teacher professionalisation intervention, called “Language as a Tool for Learning Science”, that focuses on language use during early elementary science lessons, based on video feedback coaching. The aim of this study was to investigate possible changes in teacher student behaviour during this intervention, by analysing teacher-student language during science lessons. Seventeen teachers participated with small teaching groups of 4–6-year-old students. All task-related communication was coded for teacher questions, teacher language, student language, and reasoning skills. The results show that teachers in the intervention group increasingly used open-ended questions, and students used more utterances related to reasoning. The language of teachers in the intervention group also increased in complexity and sophistication. The students’ language also increased in complexity, but also in the control group. These findings offer insights into effective forms of professional development for teachers in early elementary education.
... Prior research investigating teacher use of academic science language in preschool has focused on creating science interventions to enrich children's vocabulary [26,47,[51][52][53][54][55]. One study found that preschoolers and kindergarteners whose teachers participated in science interventions had higher vocabulary scores [51]. ...
... One study found that preschoolers and kindergarteners whose teachers participated in science interventions had higher vocabulary scores [51]. Additionally, research focused on teachers' use of academic language in the context of science has also demonstrated increases in children's use of academic vocabulary [47,54]. Nevertheless, to date, few studies have examined the academic language that teachers use naturally around science, without a fixed science intervention [47,54]. ...
... Additionally, research focused on teachers' use of academic language in the context of science has also demonstrated increases in children's use of academic vocabulary [47,54]. Nevertheless, to date, few studies have examined the academic language that teachers use naturally around science, without a fixed science intervention [47,54]. These studies also examined children's vocabulary and not children's science outcomes. ...
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The present study examined the roles that language of assessment, language dominance, and teacher language use during instruction play in Dual Language Learner (DLL) science scores. A total of 255 Head Start DLL children were assessed on equated science assessments in English and Spanish. First overall differences between the two languages were examined, then associations between performance on science assessments were compared and related to children’s language dominance, teacher quantity of English and Spanish, and teachers’ academic science language. When examined as a homogeneous group, DLLs did not perform differently on English or Spanish science assessments. However, when examined heterogeneously, Spanish-dominant DLLs performed better on Spanish science assessments. The percentage of English and Spanish used by teachers did not affect children’s science scores. Teachers’ use of Spanish academic science language impacted children’s performance on science assessments, but English did not. The results have implications for the assessment of DLLs and teacher language use during instruction.
... Studies suggest that if children enter school with the language of, and positive attitudes towards science this allows for better interaction with the science curriculum leading to better educational outcomes in science (Andersson & Gullberg, 2014;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014) and improved reasoning abilities (Xiao & Sandoval, 2017). Researchers have begun to consider how science learning can be better supported in early years settings (Amsel & Johnston, 2010;Andersson & Gullberg, 2014) so that young children's natural curiosity in the world can be scaffolded to help build a better understanding of science in later years (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014) and support the development of critical thinking skills, necessary for informed decision making across the curriculum and beyond (Duit & Treagust, 2003). ...
... Studies suggest that if children enter school with the language of, and positive attitudes towards science this allows for better interaction with the science curriculum leading to better educational outcomes in science (Andersson & Gullberg, 2014;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014) and improved reasoning abilities (Xiao & Sandoval, 2017). Researchers have begun to consider how science learning can be better supported in early years settings (Amsel & Johnston, 2010;Andersson & Gullberg, 2014) so that young children's natural curiosity in the world can be scaffolded to help build a better understanding of science in later years (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014) and support the development of critical thinking skills, necessary for informed decision making across the curriculum and beyond (Duit & Treagust, 2003). This philosophy is supported in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (Department for Education, 2017) which emphasises the need for children to understand their world by "exploring and observing" (DfE, 2017, p. 8). ...
... Research with teachers has found that self-reported confidence levels towards science affect the quality of their science teaching (Andersson & Gullberg, 2014;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014) and studies which survey parental attitudes have found that positive attitudes towards science positively affect children's attitudes (Mihelich et al., 2016) as well as a having a positive effect on science attainment (Perera, 2014). Older children with positive attitudes towards science self-report better attainment in science (Breakwell & Beardsell, 1992) and have been found to have better use of scientific thinking than those with less positive attitudes (Xiao & Sandoval, 2017). ...
Article
Assessment of deaf children has found that their early understanding in science is behind that of their hearing peers. Research shows that parental attitudes and behaviours can affect educational outcomes but few studies have considered the effects of attitudes towards science on parent/child interactions in the home and thus, the effects on attainment. We studied whether caregiver participation in a pilot intervention would influence attitudes and reported behaviours towards science learning in the home
... Pre-service teachers need to be prepared by teacher-training colleges to apply their pedagogical content knowledge (Chan &Yung, 2015) to fit this inquiry-based instruction model with intentional instruction beginning early in a child"s school career (Stratton, Hagevik, Feldman & Bloom, 2015).Unfortunately, science instruction tends to be limited in kindergarten (French, 2004;Greenfield et al., 2009;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014), and in elementary school instruction (Abed & Abd-El-Khalick, 2015;Allen, 2006). Priority is given to teaching mathematics and languages, including Arabic (Abed & Abd-El-Khalick, 2015;Greenfield et al., 2009). ...
... The reduced emphasis on the delivery of science instruction and possible gaps in early experiences in science may potentially lead to pre-service teachers having lower confidence and self-efficacy in teaching this subject (Appleton & Kindt, 1999;Dickson & Kadbey, 2013;Epstein & Miller, 2011;Lewis et al., 2014;Murphy, Neil & Beggs, 2007). Pre-service teachers may resort to a teacher-centred approach such as didactic teaching methods and fail to meaningfully engage in science discourse (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014).They may lack sufficient exposure to observing mentor teachers who can demonstrate effective scientific inquiry-based instruction and may lose motivation to improve their teaching skills in science (Abed & Abd-El-Khalick, 2015). ...
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The purpose of this study was to record the teaching behaviours of undergraduate pre-service teachers in their final practicum experience at a teacher training college in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The study relied on data collection using the MS-CISSAR eco behavioural assessment tool. This study focused on the observation of teaching behaviours during science instruction in elementary classrooms. Findings revealed that pre-service teachers engaged the students in discussion for 32% of the time and used “other media” for 24% of the time. In the remaining time teachers assigned worksheets and or workbooks. About 27% of pre-service teachers “talked about academics” more than any other activity. They engaged in “questioning about academics” for 18% of the time and paid attention to students for 17% of the time. Findings suggest implications for teacher education and directions for future research.
... The results of Henrichs (2010) show that these lexical features of academic language can be found in interactions between parents and 4-to 5-year-old children. In addition, several interventions that explicitly targeted the use of science vocabulary of young students indicated significant gains, for instance, in the use of more sophisticated terms (French, 2004;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Hong & Diamond, 2012). A systematic literature review pointed out that science instruction promotes students' use of domain-specific words, suggesting that science instruction increases the vocabulary performance of young children (Guo, Wang, Hall, Breit-Smith, & Bush, 2016). ...
... Nevertheless, in practice, awareness in teachers of the need to stimulate the use of academic language is important if the language use in science lessons has to be improved. Previous intervention studies have shown that the use of academic vocabulary can be successfully trained (French, 2004;Guo et al., 2016;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Hong & Diamond, 2012). Science lessons represent an appropriate context in which to acquaint students with academic language (Conezio & French, 2002;French, 2004;Peterson & French, 2008;Samarapungavan, Mantzicopoulos, Patrick, & French, 2009), and future research should focus on investigating whether using and eliciting more academic language can be an explicit goal within video feedback coaching interventions for teachers within this context, resulting in more academic language of students (Schleppegrell, 2001;Wong Fillmore & Snow, 2002). ...
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This paper aims to gain insight into language production and academic language of 4- and 5-year-old students and their teachers in the course of a teacher intervention during kindergarten science education. The study is based on videotaped classroom observations, and specifically focuses on the academic language use of students (Nintervention = 18, Ncontrols = 26) and teachers (Nintervention = 5, Ncontrols = 5). The results suggest that this general teacher intervention yields interesting changes in language use and production. Patterns of change over time confirm the idiosyncratic and non-linear nature of these changes. Science lessons represent an appropriate context in which to acquaint students with academic language, which can be used as a basis to build upon more sophisticated language skills.
... Language can be therefore enriched from the expression of scientific concept, but also through scientific reasoning. Such consideration are important for pre-school where teachers tend to prioritise language and literacy practices and do not necessarily think of science to develop academic language (Henrichs and Leseman 2014). ...
... Secondly, the children's relationship with the equipment provided and the experimental set-up influences the way of apprehending the concept (Piekny, Grube, and Maehler 2014). Finally, we stress the importance of such science activities to develop language skills beyond scientific language (Henrichs and Leseman 2014), especially in the context of pre-school were the development of language skills is often the first goal (Eurydice 2014). ...
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Background This work is based on the idea that young children benefit from early introduction of scientific concepts. Few researches describe didactical strategies focusing on physics understanding for young children and analyse their effectiveness in standard classroom environments. Purpose The aim is to identify whether didactical strategies referring to a precursor model can be used to help children construct explanation of physical phenomena. Sample We present results that test children’s capacity (aged 5-6) to build knowledge within a precursor model in order to describe, explain and predict the phenomenon of shadow formation. Design and methods The teaching intervention’s efficiency is tested in a standard classroom setting. Data were collected through individual interviews, using identical tasks before and after the teaching intervention. Results The analysis of children's ideas shows that the use of a constructivist didactical strategy referring to a precursor model of shadow formation by teachers has a positive effect on children’s understanding and ability to identify shadows as a physical phenomenon. Conclusion Such results support the importance of science teaching in preschools. In particular, the didactical strategy focuses children’s attention to a critical aspect of their understanding and destabilizes their previous representations. It has implications for preschool teacher professional development.
... Language can be therefore enriched from the expression of scientific concept, but also through scientific reasoning. Such consideration are important for pre-school where teachers tend to prioritise language and literacy practices and do not necessarily think of science to develop academic language (Henrichs and Leseman 2014). ...
... Secondly, the children's relationship with the equipment provided and the experimental set-up influences the way of apprehending the concept (Piekny, Grube, and Maehler 2014). Finally, we stress the importance of such science activities to develop language skills beyond scientific language (Henrichs and Leseman 2014), especially in the context of pre-school were the development of language skills is often the first goal (Eurydice 2014). ...
Article
ABSTRACT Background: This work is based on the idea that young children benefit from early introduction of scientific concepts. Few researches describe didactical strategies focusing on physics understanding for young children and analyse their effectiveness in standard classroom environments. Purpose: The aim is to identify whether didactical strategies referring to a precursor model can be used to help children construct explanation of physical phenomena. Sample: We present results that test children’s capacity (aged 5-6) to build knowledge within a precursor model in order to describe, explain and predict the phenomenon of shadow formation. Design and methods: The teaching intervention’s efficiency is tested in a standard classroom setting. Data were collected through individual interviews, using identical tasks before and after the teaching intervention. Results: The analysis of children's ideas shows that the use of a constructivist didactical strategy referring to a precursor model of shadow formation by teachers has a positive effect on children’s understanding and ability to identify shadows as a physical phenomenon. Conclusion: Such results support the importance of science teaching in preschools. In particular, the didactical strategy focuses children’s attention to a critical aspect of their understanding and destabilizes their previous representations. It has implications for preschool teacher professional development.
... The longest programs, studied by Alvarez et al. (2012) and Lee, Adamson, Santau, and colleagues, lasted for >3 years. All but one (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014) provided recurring sessions and/or continuous support. Even for this program, which consisted of only a single workshop, the researchers reported some increase in teachers' academic language use and some transfer to students in terms of their language use for science tasks. ...
... For all PD interventions but one, we found a focus on students' processes of learning or understanding. Measures aimed at drawing attention to student learning included the following: highlighting potential challenges in students' learning processes, such as common misconceptions, as well as students' learning needs (Hart & Lee, 2003;Lee et al., 2005;Olson et al., 2012); equipping teachers with knowledge about topics such as language acquisition and registers (e.g., Anderson, 2009;He et al., 2011;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014); and referring to (state) standards (e.g., Lara-Alecio et al., 2012;Short et al., 2012). Many interventions focused on student learning by addressing how student performance or learning can be evaluated and assessed (e.g., Hutchinson & Hadjioannou, 2011;Keefe, 2006). ...
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This review summarizes features of professional development programs that aim to prepare in-service teachers to improve students’ academic language proficiency when teaching subject areas. The 38 studies reviewed suggest that all of the profiled interventions were effective to some extent. The programs share many characteristics considered important in successful teacher professional development across different subject areas. They also include some features that appear to be specific to teacher training in this particular domain. This review supports the idea that professional development helps change teachers’ thinking and practice and benefits students, if certain features are taken into consideration in its design and implementation.
... In addition, it is important that teachers use academic geometrical vocabulary, for example in reformulating students' thinking. As a result, it is expected that students will improve their geometrical vocabulary (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014 Davies et al., 2014). ...
... & Keijzer, 2009). We distinguished between tier 1 and tier 2 words (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). Domain-general academic tier 3 words were not included in this study, because they were not of interest. ...
Thesis
Creativity is seen as an important competency in current and future society and promoting students’ creativity is high on the educational agenda. It is considered important that students do not only learn to reproduce knowledge and skills, but also learn to creatively apply these knowledge and skills to create and discover new possibilities and to solve problems. This doctoral research provides more insight into how students’ creativity can be promoted in education, and specifically in elementary mathematics education. The research shows that it is important to structurally foster creativity within multiple disciplines in elementary education. Furthermore, this dissertation accentuates the importance of crossing disciplinary boundaries in education to promote students’ creativity: interdisciplinary education may support students to break away from established mindsets in order to create novel ideas, solutions or (artistic) products. Moreover, the research shows that in order to nurture creativity in (interdisciplinary) mathematics education, it is important that open opportunities with less-specific learning goals are offered to students, and that the teacher encourages students’ creativity by an open atmosphere in the classroom, and by clearly emphasizing that creative responses are valued. The research also demonstrates that several factors may hinder the implementation of these strategies, such as the use of existing mathematical textbooks in elementary schools. Several implications for educational practice are generated.
... Teachers are advised to act as a facilitator: asking questions to extend students' thinking and reasoning, instead of merely transferring knowledge (Bostic, 2011). In addition, they are stimulated to use academic geometrical vocabulary, for example in reformulating students' thinking, to improve the geometrical vocabulary of their students (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). To stimulate creativity, teachers are advised to create an open atmosphere in which students' ideas are central, to ask open and activating questions that invite students to generate multiple answers, and to be open to these ideas (Davies et al., 2014;Schoevers et al., 2019). ...
... Interrater reliability (IRR) was sufficient to excellent for all items on both the pre-and posttests & Keijzer, 2009). We distinguished between tier 1 and tier 2 words (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). Domain-general academic tier 3 words were not included in this study, because they were not of interest. ...
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This study evaluates the effects of the Mathematics, Arts and Creativity in Education (MACE) program on students’ ability in geometry and visual arts in the upper grades of elementary school. The program consisted of a lesson series for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students in which geometry and visual arts were integrated, alongside with a professional development program for teachers. A quasi-experimental study was conducted in which three groups of teachers and their classes were investigated. One group of teachers taught the lesson series and followed a professional development program (n = 36), one group of teachers only taught the lesson series (n = 36), and a comparison group taught a series of traditional geometry lessons from mathematical textbooks (n = 43). A geometrical ability, creativity, and vocabulary test, and a visual arts assignment were used in a pre- and post-measurement to test the effects of the MACE program. Results showed that students who received the MACE lesson series improved more than students who received regular geometry lessons only in geometrical aspects perceived in a visual artwork. Regarding students’ understanding and explanation of geometrical phenomena and geometrical creative thinking, all students improved, but no differences between the groups were found, which implies that on these aspects the MACE program was as effective as the comparison group that received a more traditional form of geometry education.
... It has been shown that teachers can be effectively trained to apply these verbal scaffolding techniques and that, as a result, children's cooperation and understanding improves (Gillies, 2004). In addition, a teacher training on language promoting strategies might improve children's use of academic vocabulary (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). However, it is yet unknown what children's learning gains with respect to the components of scientific reasoning and domain-specific knowledge is. ...
... Additional improvement on domain-specific knowledge as acquired during the inquiry-based lesson series was also expected. Given the focus on the role of language in the verbal support condition, we expected larger gains on children's scientific reasoning and on their vocabulary (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014) compared to baseline condition. We expected the combined condition to show gains on all domains, as they are all addressed, and explored whether the combination would have a catalyst effect. ...
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Inquiry-based lessons have been demonstrated to improve children’s scientific thinking (i.e. reasoning abilities and domain-specific knowledge). Although empirical evidence shows that inquiry-based learning requires instruction, research comes from two approaches that have not been bridged yet: direct instruction of scientific reasoning and teacher training of verbal support. We investigated how these two types of instruction separately or combined strengthened children’s scientific thinking by comparing four conditions: baseline, direct instruction, verbal support, and a combined approach. Effectiveness of an inquiry-based lesson series on scientific reasoning abilities, vocabulary, and domain-specific knowledge (near and far transfer) were studied among 301 fourth graders. Results showed that both approaches strengthened different components of scientific reasoning abilities, and that a combination of instructions was most effective for scientific reasoning abilities, vocabulary, and domain-specific knowledge. Domain-specific knowledge acquisition was strengthened only when both instructions were provided. It can thus be concluded that each type of instruction has unique contributions to children’s science learning and that these instructions complement each other. Our study thus showed that inquiry-based lesson series when preceded by direct instruction of scientific reasoning and scaffolded with verbal support are most effective.
... One of the pitfalls we knew to watch out for is the tendency of teachers using language-oriented approaches to focus on vocabulary (e.g., Haug & Ødegaard, 2014;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). To promote pupil reasoning, attention also needs to be paid to formulations, or even genres (recurring text types in school and society, such as reports and recounts; Gibbons, 2002). ...
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The purpose of the design-based research reported here is to show – as a proof of principle – how the idea of scaffolding can be used to support primary teachers in a professional development programme (PDP) to design and enact language-oriented science lessons. The PDP consisted of six sessions of 2.5 h each in which twelve primary school teachers took part over a period of six months. It centralised the language support that pupils need to reason during science lessons. In line with the idea of scaffolding, the structure of the PDP targeted teachers' gradual independence in designing lessons. The first research question is how scaffolding was enacted during the PDP. The analysis of video recordings, field notes, researcher and teacher logs, and teacher design assignments focused on the enactment of three scaffolding characteristics: diagnosis, responsiveness and handover to independence. The second research question concerns what teachers learned from the participation in the PDP that followed a scaffolding approach. The data analysis illustrates that these teachers had learned much in terms of designing and enacting language-oriented science lessons. In terms of diagnosis and responsiveness, our PDP approach was successful, but we problematise the ideal of scaffolding approaches focused on handover to independence.
... The literature on scientific reasoning indicates that gains in student's reasoning skills can be measured by focusing on the predictions and explanations that students express (Henrichs & Leseman 2014;Treagust & Tsui 2014). In addition, students' descriptions of observations are an important starting point for moving to predictions and explanations (Fischer 1980). ...
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This study aimed to explore the interaction between teachers and young students in terms of their question and answer patterns during science lessons and to investigate whether this changes over the course of an intervention called ‘Language as a Tool for learning science’ (LaT). It also compared experienced teachers with novices. A total of 16 teachers—of which 8 experienced and 8 novice teachers—and their students participated in this study. The teachers’ utterances were coded with regard to the use of questioning strategies, and the students’ reasoning skills were categorized by the use of three types of scientific reasoning skills (observations, predictions, explanations). Consistent with a complex dynamic systems orientation, we analyzed the interactions among these dimensions by means of state space grids (SSG). The results showed that before the intervention, the teacher-student interaction often took the form of a relatively rigid pattern in which teachers did not ask questions and students did not respond with reasoning expressions. In the course of the LaT intervention, a richer repertoire and a greater amount of interactions emerged in which knowledge was “co-constructed” by means of open-ended questions of the teacher and reasoning by the students. The results also suggest that the patterns of experienced and novice teachers were quite similar to each other.
... 2992). While helping teachers feel more positive about science helps, as well as emphasizing how important early science experiences are, Henrichs and Leseman (2014) also claim that it is important to integrate language instructions in those experiences. ...
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Many preservice teachers struggle in science courses and foster anxieties regarding science instruction in their future classrooms. Providing time and support for preservice teachers to teach science in an after-school classroom through service learning allows them to build a science learning environment outside the formal school day. In this alternative learning space, student dialogue can enhance learning in science while also improving preservice teachers’ confidence and enthusiasm to teach science. SCI-TALKS, a program that integrates service learning and science methods instruction, fosters a supportive, “safe” environment honoring student and preservice voice through “Science Talks” where students and teachers develop and deepen science understanding collaboratively. Expository teaching strategies compromise students’ abilities to develop scientific literacy and interest in science and also contribute toward the anxiety felt by preservice teachers that they need to be an expert in all science content. Collaborative development of science ideas through discussion and “talk” can lead to better understanding and more positive attitudes about science and science instruction. With the constraints of the formal classroom and the anxiety over science content, community-based service-learning teaching opportunities for early education preservice teachers can support both the development and refinement of inquiry instruction skills.
... One of the very few studies conducted outside the US focused on kindergarten teachers' use of scientific reasoning (e.g., "comparing", "explaining") and domain-specific academic vocabulary (e.g., "air", "press") in early science instruction in the Netherlands (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). The authors found that, after a 3-h training on academic language, teachers in the IG asked more questions aimed at enhancing students' scientific reasoning and used more domain-specific academic vocabulary than teachers in the CG. ...
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We investigate the effectiveness of professional development (PD) aimed at promoting teachers’ language-support skills in elementary school science instruction. In a 2-year quasi-experimental field trial study with 32 teachers in Germany, an intervention group (IG) and a control group (CG) received PD for teaching selected science topics; the IG additionally received PD for language support. Strong treatment effects emerged on teachers’ language-support skills and, to a lesser extent, on language support activities in classroom teaching. All teachers gained pedagogical content knowledge and self-efficacy for teaching elementary school science, thus pointing to the effectiveness of the PD.
... Cervetti, Barber, Dorph, Pearson, & Goldschmidt, 2012;Yore, Bisanz, & Hand, 2003) als nationaal (bijv. Henrichs & Leseman, 2014; Van der Graaf, Van de Sande, Gijsel, & Segers, 2019) verschillende initiatieven zijn geweest om taalontwikkeling expliciet centraal te stellen in het W&Tonderwijs, is nog weinig onderzocht hoe vakspecifieke taal-en begripsontwikkeling in de W&T-les tegelijkertijd kunnen worden bevorderd, wat daarbij de te verwachten opbrengsten zijn, en in hoeverre de opbrengst in verhouding staat tot de geleverde inspanning. ...
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Het W&T-onderwijs op de basisschool kent verschillende uitdagingen, die we in deze ontwerpstudie aangaan door begrips-en (vak)taalontwikkeling tegelijkertijd te onder-steunen. Daartoe ontwikkelden we een taalgerichte lessenserie die het leren verklaren van drijven en zinken, en de daartoe benodigde denkstappen, tot doel had. Deze studie evalueert hoe de kwaliteit van de verklaringen en het vaktaalgebruik in de denkstappen zich ontwikkelden. Met een schriftelijke voor-en nameting scoorden we verklaringsniveaus van 21 leerlingen (10-11 jaar) en stelden we een significante vooruitgang in de kwaliteit van verklaringen vast. De ontwikkeling van drie meertalige gevalsstudieleerlingen werd nader geanalyseerd met transcripten van interviewdata die na elk van de zes lessen werden verzameld. De interviewvragen richtten zich op het verklaren van drijven en zinken. Eerst werden de niveaus van de verklaringen van drijven en zinken gescoord. Vervolgens werd de vaktaalontwikkeling beschreven. De verklaringsniveaus en de vaktaalontwikkeling gingen niet altijd gelijk op. Uit een cross case-analyse bleek verder een toegenomen frequentie en variatie in gebruik van vaktaalwoorden, en een verschuiving naar wetenschappelijk adequatere verklaringen. Deze studie levert een proof of principle van de mogelijkheid om tegelijkertijd de kwaliteit van verklaringen en (vak)taalontwikkeling te bevorderen tijdens een taalgerichte lessenserie waarin het idee van denkstappen centraal staat.
... The category of responsivity usually includes strategies that promote children's talk (such as using a slow pace to encourage children to talk or asking open-ended questions) and strategies that provide advanced language models (such as using recasts and extensions or providing information about objects, emotions, or events). The latter is sometimes referred to as academic language, a register characterized by greater lexical diversity, use of technical words, and high information density (Dickinson, Hofer, Barnes, & Grifenhagen, 2014;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Snow, 2010;Snow & Uccelli, 2009). One of the ways through which responsivity is assumed to contribute to children's language development is by presenting children with more opportunities to actively engage in language production. ...
Article
Research Findings: This study evaluated the impact of a self-monitoring intervention on preschool teachers’ use of language and on children’s language growth. Nineteen classrooms from Santiago de Chile participated (10 intervention, 9 control). Twice a week, intervention teachers filled out a checklist to monitor the language stimulation they offered children. Research personnel used the checklists to elaborate a monthly summary of the language opportunities offered to each child in that month and discussed this information with teachers. Results revealed a significant advantage for intervention teachers in frequency of book readings and word discussions but not on children’s language growth. Dosage analyses showed that children identified by the self-monitoring device as receiving more language-learning opportunities improved significantly more from beginning to end of the school year in receptive vocabulary. Practice or Policy: Contextual barriers such as large numbers of children and unawareness of the impact of some language interactions can prevent teachers from engaging in important practices. Reminding teachers of the importance of those practices and helping them monitor their frequency may be a low-cost way of improving language opportunities for children in contexts where more intensive professional development is not possible.
... Furthermore, intervention programs might consider different possibilities of access for families with various prior science experiences. Given that most parents prioritize other domains of learning such as literacy or numeracy over science during early childhood ( Saçkes, 2014 ), intervention effort s t argeted at parents should highlight how early science learning is connected to other domains of learning, for example to enhancing children's verbal abilities by formulating assumptions and ideas or using specific vocabulary ( Alber- Morgan, Sawyer, & Miller, 2015 ;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014 ). One first step to help parents engage more in sciencerelated learning opportunities could include raising awareness for phenomena such as melting, sinking and floating, or magnetism in daily life. ...
Article
Parents play a pivotal role in introducing their children to science, but little is known about the nature of an early science-related home learning environment. This study examines different aspects of the home learning environment and their associations with children's science knowledge. Mediation analyses of a sample of 257 five-year-old preschool children and their parents show that (1) parental engagement in science-related learning activities with their children is associated with children's science knowledge, (2) structural family characteristics as well as parental interest in science are associated with the frequency of these activities, and (3) associations of structural family characteristics and parental interest in science with children's knowledge are mediated by science-related activities. The results emphasize the important role of parents in children's early science education.
... The category of responsivity usually includes strategies that promote children's talk (such as using a slow pace to encourage children to talk or asking open-ended questions) and strategies that provide advanced language models (such as using recasts and extensions or providing information about objects, emotions, or events). The latter is sometimes referred to as academic language, a register characterized by greater lexical diversity, use of technical words, and high information density (Dickinson, Hofer, Barnes, & Grifenhagen, 2014;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Snow, 2010;Snow & Uccelli, 2009). One of the ways through which responsivity is assumed to contribute to children's language development is by presenting children with more opportunities to actively engage in language production. ...
Article
Research Findings: This study examines the association between preschool classroom activity and the quality of the language spoken by teachers and children. Eighteen classrooms serving low-income children between the ages of 3 and 4 in Santiago de Chile were audio-recorded during one morning shift. Recordings were transcribed and segmented into activities (greeting, learning experience, book sharing, book discussion, breakfast, lunch, free play and other noninstructional time). A total of 113 activity segments were identified. Characteristics of teacher and child language were measured in each segment. Differences between the eight activities were examined using analysis of variance. Activities were classified as instructional or noninstructional, and the association between this dimension and language characteristics was examined using multilevel path analysis. Results show that most of the variance in language outcomes occurs within classrooms. Analyses show that a significant portion of the variance in the way teachers and children talk is explained by the instructional/noninstructional dimension. Instructional activities are characterized by more language stimulation, more teaching, fewer directives, and more child talk than noninstructional activities. Practice or Policy Implications: We discuss implications for teacher professional development and early childhood education improvement in general and for Latin-America specifically.
... Even though there are numerous dimensions of curiosity, epistemic and scientific are the ones most likely to indicate an ongoing interest in science learning. Children are born as little scientists (Gopnik, 2004(Gopnik, , 2012Henrichs & Leseman, 2014) ready to investigate and explore their surroundings to figure out how the world works. In addition, children are naturally curious from birth . ...
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The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case study research was to understand scientific curiosity in young learners (children between the ages of five and seven years) which is a population often neglected in qualitative curiosity research. Situated learning theory provided the theoretical framework since curiosity is viewed as an independent and personal endeavor in which knowledge is constructed on an individual level. This study focused on three research questions: (1) what are young learners curious about that may possibly influence future science learning and education, (2) when a natural phenomenon captivates a young learner’s scientific curiosity, what actions follow, and (3) what are characteristics of experiences young learners bring with them from outside of their schooling that may influence scientific curiosity. Three young children and their parents participated in the study for a maximum of ten interactions. Data collection methods included initial semi- structured interviews of both the children and the parents, field notes, observations, and photographs taken by the researcher, adult participant, and/or child participant. The findings showed that several observable behaviors of curiosity in previous studies with younger and older participants were also apparent in this study’s participants: exploration/discovery, questioning, and sustained interest. In addition to the anticipated findings, several unforeseen findings appeared during the data analysis process. These unforeseen factors affecting curiosity included technology, interruptions and diversions, curiosity of other family members, and fear of natural phenomenon. The findings have implications for early childhood and elementary teaching practices, learning environments, and designing lessons in elementary classrooms.
... However, the occurrence of these more in-depth discussions during play was somewhat limited. The majority of these extended types of adult-child interactions were found during educational/emerging academic activities, strongest during science activities (see also Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). Note, however, that in 14 video fragments of educational/emerging academic activities, only five situations with educational dialogues were identified. ...
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This report presents the findings of a multiple case study, conducted in seven European countries to examine common and culturally differing aspects of curriculum, pedagogy, and quality of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) provisions in Europe. This multiple case study involved intensive data collection on structural characteristics, process quality, implemented curricula and pedagogical approaches in four ECEC centers in each of the seven countries that were considered examples of ‘good practice’ by national experts. A multi-method approach was used to obtain a comprehensive overview of the different aspects of quality in classrooms for 0-3 and 3-6-years-old children. Video recordings were made of four common situations in ECEC centers, i.e. play, mealtime, creative activities and educational/emerging academic activities, which were used to evaluate process quality with a standard observational tool, namely the CLASS Toddler and CLASS Pre-K and to analyse occurring educational dialogues in-depth. The CLASS was chosen as an example of a well- developed, theory-based standard observation instrument that is currently widely used in several countries in different continents. In addition, educator reports were used to collect information on structural educator, classroom and center characteristics as well as information on the curriculum of the provision of different types of activities focusing on (pretend) play, self-regulation and pre- academic activities, including language, literacy, math, and science activities. Finally, information on educator’s beliefs and perspectives on classroom process quality was collected through personal interviews and focus group discussions with professionals in all participating countries. A total of 28 ECEC centers (14 centers for 0-3-year-olds, 14 centers for 3-6-year-olds) participated in the case study, involving in total 77 educators (of whom 41 worked in 0–3 classrooms). Videos were made of four common activity settings in ECEC (1) play, (2) mealtime, (3) educational/emerging academic activities, and (4) creative activities to increase comparability across countries, resulting in a total number of 62 videos for 0–3 classrooms and 62 videos for 3–6 classrooms (total number of 124 videos). The videos were coded using the CLASS Toddler and Pre-K versions by two experienced coders (from Finland and Portugal) and 25% of the data (i.e. one video per center) was double coded by an experienced coder from another country (the Netherlands) revealing good inter-observer reliability. The results based on the video data showed that the emotional support and classroom organization was in the high range, whereas the instructional support was in the mid range in this selective sample of good centers. This pattern reflects the general pattern found in ECEC classrooms, but with somewhat higher average scores than previous studies have found that used the CLASS, reflecting that, indeed, ‘good practices’ were selected for this study. The overall high level of process quality also indicated that what was thought good practice in one country was by-and-large also considered good practice in another country. However, there was also considerable variation in the quality assessments that could be attributed to the type of activity setting, group size (small vs. large group) and arrangement and to constellations of structural characteristics of the participating centres. In 0-3 classrooms play and educational/emerging academic activities provided the best opportunities for children to be engaged in higher quality processes, both with regard to emotional support and support for learning and development from educators. In 3-6 classrooms educational/emerging academic activities also showed the highest quality in both domains, but play situations now showed somewhat lower quality in instructional aspects. The difference might emerge from the different role of educators in children’s play: in 0-3 classrooms play was more often actively guided and facilitated by educators, whereas in 3-6 classrooms educators tended to take a monitoring role or not to be present in play situations. This finding might reflect in general an increased reliance on children’s play skills and putting more emphasis on developing children’s authonomy and peer relations via play as children grow older. Moreover, process quality was higher during small group activities compared to whole group activities, which was particularly evident for the dimensions regard for children’s perspectives, quality of feedback and language modelling. The content of the activity was also associated with process quality. Process quality was rated higher for example during science activities than during other educational/emerging academic activities. It appeared that science activities mostly concerned hands-on activities which, on average, were provided in smaller groups compared to language and literacy activities that were more often provided in the whole group and included activities such as circle time talk, shared reading and singing songs. Educators reported on the curriculum activities and children’s behavior that are seen as important for children’s development, in particular pretend play and self-regulation, and different types of pre- academic activities, including language literacy, math, and science activities. There appeared to be different patterns for 0-3 and 3-6 classrooms, with an emphasis on the provision of self-regulation and pre-academic activities for older children. However, there appeared to be differences between centers in different countries as well, likely reflecting variation in pedagogical traditions. On average, there seemed to be a stronger focus on language and math activities than on literacy and science activities, in both 0–3 and 3–6 classrooms. When distinguishing between different types of curricula it appeared that a balanced curriculum with roughly equal emphasis on play, self-regulation and pre- academic activities was related to the highest observed process quality. A predominant orientation on play in 3-6-years-old classrooms, at the expense of other types of activities, appeared to be related to lower instructional support for children’s learning although emotional support and classroom organization were in high level also in these classrooms. This point to the importance of having a curriculum with a good balance between different types of activities to support children’s holistic development. There was considerable variation in structural quality (groups size, ration) across centers, but different combinations of characteristics together with children’s age range, rather than single aspects, appeared to be related to higher observed process quality and to the implementation of a balanced curriculum. Moreover, both a favourable group size and a favourable children-to-staff ratio were found to be related to higher process quality, although not in combination, which can be explained by the choices educators make in preparing and organizing the day and the activities they provide to children. Based on our field notes in larger classrooms educators provided more activities in smaller groups throughout the day. Altogether, the findings indicate that a smaller group size with fewer educators or a larger group size with more educators were both related to higher quality and a more balanced curriculum. Other quality aspects included opportunities for additional in-service training, professional development activities provided at the center and the overall organizational climate in the center, which were all found to be important for process quality and curriculum emphasis. Additional in-service training with longer work experience was related to higher process quality in 0–3 classrooms and to a balanced implemented curriculum, which in turn was related to the highest process quality. Also opportunities for continuous professional development in the center with high organizational climate, including team meetings to discuss the developmental and educational goals of working with children, coaching, and using collegial observation and feedback to improve practice, was related to high observed process quality and a stronger emphasis on the provision of self-regulation and educational/emergent academic activities compared to other centers. These results were strongest when educators also evaluated the overall organizational climate of their center higher in terms of collegiality, supportive supervision, joint decision-making and clearly defined goals based on a shared mission and orientation. For the in-depth investigation of educational dialogues, the recorded play and educational/emerging academic activities of the 3-6 classrooms were analysed using a qualitative content analysis. Educational dialogues are considered a specific form of collective, reciprocal, and purposeful interactions in which there are extended verbal exchanges between the educator and children involving questioning, listening to each other and sharing of different ideas and points of view. In total, 8 episodes of educational dialogues were identified out of 28 video recordings, which mostly concerned educational/emerging academic activities in both small and large group settings, mainly addressing topics of science and math (5 out of 8). The remaining educational dialogues were identified in play situations. The educational dialogues that were identified in educational/emerging academic activities were more likely to be educator-initiated whereas the educational dialogues that emerged in play were initiated by children. Not all children in the group were equally actively taking part on the educational dialogue. The number of children actively contributing to educational dialogues ranged from 2 to 8 children per episode and the proportion of actively engaged children was higher in small groups compared to large groups. The educator’s role in the dialogues varied from a more leading role to a role as facilitator. Children were more likely to engage in a dialogue when the topic was familiar, related to their personal experiences and when hands-on materials or concrete examples were used. The videos in which educational dialogues were identified were also rated higher on the CLASS Pre-K dimensions Concept development, Quality of feedback, and Language modelling, attesting to the validity of the concepts measured with the CLASS as a process quality assessment instrument chosen to use in this multiple case study. The in-depth analysis of educational dialogues provided more detailed information on how back-and-forth exchanges between educators and children evolve, and on the specific strategies educators use to initiate or maintain the educational dialogue: The verbal interaction was often structured around educators asking questions and children providing answers, but during educational dialogues children were adding actively new themes to the topic and on few occasions building a chain of reasoning independently. Educators enhanced educational dialogue by validating children’s comments and by allowing the discussion to follow their initiations. By asking for children’s opinions and by using open questions, children were better able to contribute to educational dialogue. In our culture sensitive analysis there appeared to be a high level of agreement among professionals across countries about what constitutes high process quality. A group of 84 professionals from at least one center in each country participated in focus group discussions or in personal interviews to investigate their values and beliefs regarding classroom quality and to discuss their reflections on their own practices within a video cued situations. The professionals from 6 European countries mentioned three main goals of ECEC: (1) supporting children’s autonomy, (2) creating a sense of belonging, and (3) fostering children’s learning. There was wide consensus about the importance of a warm, positive classroom with sensitive educators adopting a child-centered approach which can support children’s learning. These aspects of quality were, generally, found to be well reflected in the standard assessment tool used in the current study for evaluating process quality, that is, the CLASS. However, the European professionals also strongly valued belonging to a group and being part of a community, the possibility to establish and develop peer relations, and a focus on broad developmental goals by striking a balance between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills. These aspects were found to be less well reflected in the CLASS, which is more focused on dyadic adult-child relationships and puts less emphasis on peer relations and peer learning. Promoting a critical cultural approach to evaluation tools means also ceasing to consider the relationship between the tools and the services they evaluate only in a top-down, unidirectional way. Assessment and validation-adaptation processes can benefit from a reversed perspective that involves professionals in a reflective experience and an intercultural dialogue supported by and with the instruments. It offers educators an enriching opportunity to express the definitions of quality underlying their practices; to acquire a deeper awareness of them; to compare and even intentionally contaminate their local theories with values embedded in the instrument. It can therefore foster professional development and reflection and, consequently, improve quality. Altogether, the findings indicate a European perspective on classroom process quality that is not fully captured by standard quality assessment tools that were developed in other cultural, more individualistic, contexts, such as the United States. This calls for extension of existing tools or for development of new tools that can capture the European perspective. Recommendations 1) A balanced curriculum which focus on broad developmental goals by striking a balance between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills in child development can be considered to be basis for the high process quality in classroom practices that influence children’s holistic development and learning. 2) Providing more small group activities can be an effective way to combine a more child- centered approach with stimulation of children’s deeper learning and development. Incorporating small group activities into the daily routines can be beneficial in terms of emotional and instructional process quality, meaning that if the overall group size is not favourable, as long as educators use opportunities for the provision of activities in smaller groups balancing whole group and small group activities during the day can support the process quality of activities. 3) In line with a stronger focus on collaborative and peer learning, the use of educational dialogues seems a good way to integrate child-centeredness with the stimulation of children’s cognitive and language development from a collective, group-based perspective. Increasing educator’s knowledge on educational dialogues and how to incorporate them into daily activities can enhance process quality and increase children’s involvement in activities, thus making these experiences more meaningful. 4) The provision of science activities turned out to be related to the highest process quality, yet given the least emphasis in current ECEC curricula according to educators’ self-reports. Science activities, including exploration and discovery while using hands-on materials, provide ample opportunities for reflection and discussion and educational dialogues, and can facilitate deeper understanding, promote children’s reasoning and thinking skills, and elicit complex language use, while allowing children initiative and self-determination. 5) Current widely-used standard observation instruments to assess quality in ECEC, for 0-3 and 3-6-years-old , such as the CLASS Toddler and CLASS Pre-K, provide a framework to assess quality, but need to be complemented by observation tools that (a) address educators’ group-sensitivity and strategies to strengthen group-belongingness, peer-interaction and peer-learning, (b) assess the flexible use of subgroup arrangements within the larger group to provide more guided small group work, (c) focus more specifically on the occurrence of educational dialogues, (d) evaluate to what extent social-emotional and personal ‘soft’ skills are fostered, such as self-regulation, problem-solving, creativity, collaboration and citizenship next to traditional ‘hard’ academic skills, and (e) determine to what extent inclusiveness and positive attitudes towards diversity are promoted. It is recommended to initiate the development of additional observation and self-evaluation tools that build on instruments such as the CLASS, but are extended as outlined here to serve the goals of European ECEC better. 6) In view of enhancing process quality in ECEC centers a promising way seems to be providing possibilities for continuous professional development for educators in the centers. This seems especially effective when embedded within an overall supportive organizational climate. To create opportunities for educators’ continuous professional development together with the policy level support for centers will benefit the quality of ECEC in Europe.
... Aan de ene kant van het spectrum betrekken de auteurs in hun meta-analyse een studie die positieve resultaten rapporteert van een slechts drie uur durende interventie. Deze studie richt zich dan ook op een klein domein binnen taalvaardigheid, in een specifieke setting: het bevorderen van academisch taalgebruik in gesprekken met kleuters over wetenschap en techniek (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). Anderzijds rapporteren de auteurs over een studie waarin het professionaliseringsaanbod als doel heeft het sociaal-emotioneel functioneren van de kinderen te bevorderen. ...
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Het voorliggende onderzoek stelt zich ten doel de belangrijkste patronen te schetsen die naar voren zijn gekomen in internationaal onderzoek naar de effectiviteit van professionalisering. De literatuurstudie geeft antwoord op de volgende onderzoeksvraag: Welke factoren worden in de bestaande literatuur beschreven als doorslaggevend voor effectieve professionalisering in voorschoolse voorzieningen? Naast het beantwoorden van de onderzoeksvraag schetst het onderzoek de belangrijkste kennishiaten die na bestudering van de bestaande literatuur naar voren zijn gekomen, om zo, op verzoek van het ministerie van Sociale zaken en werkgelegenheid, een meerjarige onderzoeksagenda te informeren. De auteurs baseren zich in deze studie op drie soorten bronnen: (i) bestaande literatuur reviews en meta-analyses (ii); individuele empirische studies; (iii) ‘good practice’ beschrijvingen uit verschillende landen. Er komen na bestudering van de bronnen zeven elementen naar voren als zijnde doorslaggevend voor effectiviteit in professionalisering. Deze elementen worden in de studie omschreven als overwegingen, ten aanzien waarvan men in het ontwerpen van professionaliseringsaanbod zeer wel overwogen keuzes dient te maken. De zeven elementen zijn de volgende: (i) Er dient een realistische relatie te bestaan tussen het doel van de professionalisering en de intensiteit van de training. Wanneer men zich ten doel stelt een sub-domein van proceskwaliteit te verbeteren volstaan soms een lage intensiteit van professionalisering. Echter, wanneer men zich ten doel stelt de algehele proceskwaliteit te verhogen is een meer permanente en sterk intensieve vorm van professionalisering vereist voor het bereiken van duurzame resultaten. (ii) De keuze voor aanbiedingsvorm dient ook in lijn te zijn met het doel van de professionalisering. Wanneer het vergroten van theoretische kennis gekoppeld wordt aan ‘on the job coaching’ lijkt de kans op effectiviteit het grootst. Studies waarin voor coaching gebruik wordt gemaakt van nieuwe technologische ontwikkelingen (web-omgevingen met goede voorbeelden, beeld coaching op afstand, etc.) rapporteren veelbelovende resultaten. (iii) De kwaliteit van de uitvoering van het professionaliseringsaanbod moet op twee niveaus worden gemonitord. Ten eerste op het niveau van de trainer die de professionalisering aanbiedt: Biedt de trainer de professionaliseringsactiviteiten aan op de manier waarop deze is ontworpen en bedoeld? Professionalisering waarbij ook de trainer aan certificering is gebonden lijken robuuster resultaten op te leveren. Ten tweede moet de kwaliteit van de uitvoering op het niveau van de getrainde professional bewaakt worden: worden de nieuw aangeleerde of verdiepte vaardigheden inderdaad zo toegepast als aangeleerd? Om effect op kinderen te sorteren is het monitoren van de kwaliteit van uitvoering op beide niveaus een vereiste. Bovendien moet het instrument waarmee ‘implementatietrouw’ gemeten wordt in voldoende mate passen bij de aard van de professionalisering. Uit de literatuurreview komt naar voren dat dit laatste lang niet altijd het geval is. (iv) Om te komen tot een professionele cultuur is gezamenlijkheid een essentiële factor. Wanneer het professionaliseringsaanbod gezamenlijk wordt uitgevoerd is de kans op succes het grootst. Een veelbelovende weg in dezen is het vormen van professionele leergemeenschappen (of: lerende netwerken). Binnen dergelijke netwerken staat eigenaarschap van het leren centraal. Professionals komen op regelmatige basis bijeen, delen een gezamenlijke leervraag, en ontsluiten elkaars groepen voor elkaar. Reflectie op het handelen staat in dergelijke netwerken centraal. Succesvolle leergemeenschappen moeten na verloop van tijd in staat zijn om door middel van data (portfolio’s, logboeken, documentatie) in staat zijn om het effect van hun leren op het leren van de kinderen aan te tonen. Hoewel alle geraadpleegde bronnen het professionaliseren in leergemeenschappen of netwerken als veelbelovend aanmerken, merken zij ook allen op dat empirisch onderzoek naar de effectiviteit ervan binnen het domein van het jonge kind nog zeer schaars is. (v) Het koppelen van theoretische kennis aan het verankeren van deze kennis in dagelijks handelen is onmisbaar voor effectiviteit van professionalisering. Het vergroten van kennis kan inspireren, maar voor daadwerkelijk en duurzaam verhogen van kwaliteit is ‘in-oefening’ door actief leren noodzakelijk. (vi) Door beroepskrachten als onderdeel van de professionalisering te leren om zelf onderzoek te doen, kan een gevoel van eigenaarschap in het eigen leren sterk worden bevorderd. De term ‘onderzoek doen’ kan in dezen breed worden opgevat: het verzamelen van documentatie waarin bewijs gelegen is voor verhoogde kwaliteit kan hiervan een voorbeeld zijn, maar ook het systematisch leren afnemen van observatielijsten voor kinderen. De koppeling tussen het handelen van beroepskrachten en de ontwikkeling van kinderen wordt op deze manier expliciet gemaakt, waardoor de beroepskracht de eigen ondersteunende rol in de ontwikkeling van de kinderen scherper zal gaan zien. Hierbij moet wel altijd een open oog worden gehouden voor een goede balans tussen de hoeveelheid tijd die men besteed aan documentatie en aan de interactie met de kinderen. (vii) Het professionaliseringsaanbod dat men kiest dient in lijn te zijn met de organisatiedoelen en organisatievisie op hoge kwaliteit. Hierbinnen is een belangrijke rol weggelegd voor pedagogisch leiderschap. Het kwaliteitskader waarbinnen men werkt moet breed gedragen zijn, en het verdient aanbeveling dat er een inhoudelijk pedagogisch leider is aangewezen die het handelen volgens een kwaliteitsraamwerk monitort. In de conclusie van het literatuuronderzoek, reduceren we bovengenoemde effectieve elementen tot drie ‘kernelementen’: permanentie, gezamenlijkheid, en reflectie. Deze drie elementen hebben betrekking op teams van professionals, maar ook op een dynamische samenwerking tussen wetenschap en werkveld. De beschrijvingen van goede voorbeelden laten zien hoe de uitwisseling en duurzame samenwerking tussen kennisinstituten en werkveld kan leiden tot vergroot wederzijds bewustzijn van uitdagingen en kansen en daarmee tot duurzame kwaliteitsverbetering. Suggesties voor een (meerjarige) onderzoeksagenda omvatten het initiëren van onderzoek naar de effecten van verschillende vormen van professionalisering die zich momenteel in Nederland ontvouwen. Ook adviseren wij het agenderen van onderzoek naar organisatiekenmerken en bestuursvormen die een professionele cultuur - een cultuur waarin ‘een leven lang leren’ centraal staat, en leren van en met elkaar een vanzelfsprekendheid is – mogelijk maken. Tot slot, gegeven de huidige maatschappelijke ontwikkelingen op het gebied van immigratie, strekt het doen van onderzoek naar de professionaliseringsbehoefte rondom het werken met diverse populaties tot sterke aanbeveling.
... The academic language register is associated with the linguistic features of academic disciplines (Scarcella, 2003), or more specifically "the form of language expected in contexts such as the exposition of topics in the school curriculum, making arguments, defending propositions, and synthesizing information" (Snow, 2010, p.450). Studies show that basic academic language skills begin to develop in infancy and continue increasing in complexity through childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood (Gibbons, 1998;Nippold et al, 1999;Benelli et al, 2006;Snow, 2014;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). The way that general language skills are developed in the social environment is one of the earliest predictors of successful academic language use later in life. ...
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As academic language skills develop, young learners are able to rise to the challenge of increasingly complex communication in increasingly formal settings (Snow, 2014; Uccelli et al., 2015). Studies suggest that CLIL contexts may favour the development of academic language skills (Dalton-Puffer, 2007; Nikula, 2007; Marsh, 2008; Pasqual Peña, 2010) to a greater extent than non-CLIL contexts. However, research that attempts to test this assumption has so far tended to do so from a pragmalinguistic perspective (Lorenzo & Rodríguez, 2014; Lorenzo, 2017). This paper takes a sociopragmatic approach to exploring the differences between CLIL and non-CLIL contexts regarding how they facilitate the development of early academic language skills. That is, how the communicative intentions that underlie CLIL and non-CLIL classroom discourse may help or hinder the development of such skills. The data were collected by observing classroom discourse in CLIL and EFL primary-school lessons, in Spanish-based and Catalan-based linguistic models. The method followed was to apply a taxonomy of the sociopragmatic level of academic language (Henrichs, 2010) to determine the quality of the conversational style and intersubjective cooperation found in the discourse. The results indicate that CLIL classroom discourse is characterised by the sort of conversational style that facilitates the development of academic language skills. However, in terms of intersubjective cooperation the results are somewhat inconclusive. Based on these results, the study suggests raising awareness of the role of conversational style in classroom discourse so as to boost the quality of teacher-student interactions in primary-school CLIL contexts and, thus, contribute to an identified need for continuous improvement of CLIL pedagogies and teacher training (Lorenzo, 2007; de Graaff et al., 2007).
... There has been an increase in the number of publications concerning preschool science education during the past decades [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]. Much of the research efforts for this educational level have been focused on broadening children's scientific experiences derived from the living, visual, everyday world, especially within the fields of biology [12][13][14][15] and physics [16][17][18][19]. ...
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This study focuses on the development of executive functions in preschool children during a series of science activities. A longitudinal play-based learning intervention was designed and implemented following the design of an educational experiment. Data were collected through visual ethnography in hot situations with adult supervision. Results show how entwined the concepts of inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility are within young children’s development. The development of cognitive flexibility or attention shifting readily occurred when there were fictive characters (such as the king and his royal family), but changing perspective toward a nonfictive environment (i.e., taking other children’s perspectives) was a more difficult and time-consuming process. This process began in an individual perspective and expanded to acknowledging others’ perspectives, then moved toward creating common perspectives or alternative narratives. Results show that science activities can be a bridge for preschool children to transfer their use of executive functions, from fairytales and games toward everyday tasks.
... Furthermore, exposure must begin early; knowledge gaps evident in kindergarten contribute to science achievement disparities in subsequent grades (Morgan et al., 2016). Early science exposure establishes foundational scientific concepts students can build on later and develops children's motivation for science learning (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Sahin et al., 2014). However, the opportunity to provide this early exposure is often missed: One study found that kindergarteners receive an average of only 2.3 min of science instruction per day (Wright & Neuman, 2014), while another found that average instructional time in science for kindergarten through third-grade classrooms was 19 min per day (Banilower et al., 2013). ...
... Many believe that the "effective integration of technology in class is important for increasing students' class engagement" (Gunuc & Kuzu, 2014, p. 218). STEM can foster engagement because of its particular linguistic interdisciplinary challenges and science instruction that can inspire marginalized youth to succeed (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). Additionally, "engagement in more intensive STEM activities and teacher influence were statistically significant predictors of the likelihood to choose a STEM career" (Franz-Odendaal, et al., 2016, p.167). ...
... Many believe that the "effective integration of technology in class is important for increasing students' class engagement" (Gunuc & Kuzu, 2014, p. 218). STEM can foster engagement because of its particular linguistic interdisciplinary challenges and science instruction that can inspire marginalized youth to succeed (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014). Additionally, "engagement in more intensive STEM activities and teacher influence were statistically significant predictors of the ...
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The goal of the TDSB's STEM strategy is to build capacity among TDSB Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators to enhance their STEM pedagogical knowledge, self-efficacy, and promote STEM implementation in classrooms. A critical factor in enhancing STEM across the Board is teacher engagement. This study examined: (1) teacher cognitive and emotional engagement, (2) social engagement with colleagues, students, and leadership, and (3) teacher engagement with STEM and digital tools. It is suggested the method used to measure teacher engagement in this study will be used in other system wide program implementations across the Board.
... Language is of utmost importance for a child's cognitive development, including the development of scientific skills and concepts (Haug & Ødegaard, 2014;Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Saalbach, Grabner, & Stern, 2013;Saalbach, Leuchter, & Stern, 2010;Tomasello, 1999). The influence of language on children's cognitive development is at least three-fold (Tomasello, 1999): First, language affects children's development through parents, teachers, or other adults who provide instructions and explanations; second, language directs children's attention; and third, language prompts children to change perspectives. ...
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Our study addresses the relationship between teacher talk and children’s conceptual learning in early science instruction. We examined the role of teacher talk in N = 32 kindergarten classes. The teachers were video-recorded at the beginning of a four-week instruction phase while assisting a group of children who were dealing with a learning unit on floating and sinking. The coding of teacher talk included expressions that were pertinent to the content (content-specific vocabulary) and talk that performed an underlying scaffolding function (scaffolding utterances). Teachers’ scaffolding utterances were assigned to four sub-types. The children’s conceptual understanding was measured in individual sessions in a pre-post design. The results of two different analytic approaches indicated that the teachers’ content-specific language acted as a positive predictor of the children’s learning outcomes whereas both positive and negative effects were found with respect to the sub-types of scaffolding utterances.
... The resulting dissatisfaction has been argued to be critical for science learning (Posner et al., 1982). Using topic-specific language has also been shown to support children's learning (Henrichs & Leseman, 2014;Klibanoff et al., 2006;Snow & Uccelli, 2009). Klibanoff et al. (2006), for example, found that the number of math-related concepts incorporated into preschool teachers' speech is significantly related to the growth of children's mathematical knowledge. ...
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To effectively support early science learning in preschool, teachers need to be aware of the constructivist nature of children’s learning. This study examined a sample of Swiss preschool teachers’ beliefs about science learning and teaching and their relation to their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and scaffolding practices within a curriculum about floating and sinking. In Study 1, beliefs and PCK were assessed by means of questionnaires. A latent-profile analysis involving 104 preschool teachers reveals three clusters of teachers exhibiting specific belief profiles about science learning: “highly constructivist,” “low constructivist” and “hands-on” teachers. PCK differed across clusters, while highly constructivist teachers ranked highest. To deepen our understanding of the relations among preschool teachers’ beliefs, PCK and teaching, we videotaped scaffolding practice of a subsample of 32 preschool teachers when teaching a curriculum of floating and sinking (Study 2). We found that teachers often apply scaffolding strategies to support topic-specific learning. However, scaffolding strategies aiming to stimulate higher-order thinking were rather rare. Furthermore, we found correlations between teachers’ constructivist beliefs and their scaffolding as well as between teachers’ topic-specific language and their PCK. Our findings emphasize the importance of targeting teachers’ beliefs and PCK to improve the quality of preschool science instruction.
... Another language support strategy studied in existing primary research is teachers' use of reasoning and sophisticated and varied vocabulary. Henrichs and Leseman (2014) reported intervention effects between nonsignificant ES ¼0.27 and significant ES ¼ 1.25 for several specific topics and areas. These examples show the wide variety of dependent variables that can be used to capture teachers' classroom practices. ...
Article
This meta-analysis aggregates effects from 10 studies evaluating professional development interventions aimed at qualifying in-service teachers to support their students in mastering academic language skills while teaching their respective subject areas. The analysis of a subset of studies revealed a small weighted training effect on teachers’ cognition (g’ = 0.21, SE = 0.14). An effect aggregation including all studies (with 650 teachers) revealed a medium to large weighted overall effect on teachers’ classroom practices (g’ = 0.71, SE = 0.16). Methodological variables moderated the effect magnitude. Nevertheless, the results suggest professional development is beneficial for improving teachers’ thinking and practice.
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The purpose of this study was to record the teaching behaviours of undergraduate pre-service teachers in their final practicum experience at a teacher training college in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The study relied on data collection using the MS-CISSAR eco behavioural assessment tool. This study focused on the observation of teaching behaviours during science instruction in elementary classrooms. Findings revealed that pre-service teachers engaged the students in discussion for 32% of the time and used “other media” for 24% of the time. In the remaining time teachers assigned worksheets and or workbooks. About 27% of pre-service teachers “talked about academics” more than any other activity. They engaged in “questioning about academics” for 18% of the time and paid attention to students for 17% of the time. Findings suggest implications for teacher education and directions for future research.
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Science education is critical to prepare students with the skills they will need in an increasingly technologically driven society. Yet English language learners (ELLs) consistently struggle to stay on par with their native English-speaking peers in the science classroom. We know, however, that early intervention can prevent ELLs' future learning achievement gaps. In addition, providing ELLs the opportunity to engage in science inquiry and writing integrated activities can help build their academic language and conceptual understanding. In this article we illustrate a science inquiry and writing integrated lesson for young ELLs. In doing so, we discuss how a teacher planned, used, and assessed the science and literacy integrated lesson to scaffold her ELLs' academic language and conceptual understanding within the context of national standards
Thesis
Sprachliche Kompetenzen spielen für den Bildungserfolg von Schülerinnen und Schülern eine grundlegende Rolle. Die besonderen sprachlichen Anforderungen der Bildungsinstitutionen stellen einige Kinder und Jugendliche vor Herausforderungen, die ihnen eine erfolgreiche Bildungslaufbahn erschweren. Um allen Lernenden den Zugang zu Bildung zu gewähren, sollten sprachliche Kompetenzen im Rahmen des schulischen Alltags und insbesondere des Fachunterrichts gefördert werden. Um Lehrerinnen und Lehrer für diese Aufgabe zu qualifizieren, sind wirksame Fortbildungen essenziell. Fortbildungen sind allerdings nicht per se wirksam. Vielmehr wird ihre Wirksamkeit von einer Vielzahl von Faktoren bedingt und sie variiert je nach Bereich. Inwieweit Merkmale und Bedingungen wirksamer Fortbildungen sowie Gesamteffekte, die bereichsübergreifend und für einige spezifische Bereiche bekannt sind, auch für Lehrkräftefortbildungen zur fachintegrierten Sprachförderung gelten, ist bisher ungeklärt. Im deutschen Raum fehlt es an Evaluationsstudien, die die Wirksamkeit solcher Fortbildungen und ihre Gelingensbedingungen untersuchen. Im internationalen Raum sind solche Studien zwar vorhanden, in ihrer Gesamtheit jedoch schwer zu überblicken, sodass sich bislang keine umfassenden Aussagen über den Erfolg dieser Fortbildungen treffen lassen. Vor diesem Hintergrund beschäftigt sich die vorliegende Dissertation anhand von drei Teilstudien mit der Wirksamkeit von Fortbildungen, die Lehrkräfte dafür qualifizieren sollen, eine in die Fächer und Lernbereiche der Schule integrierte Sprachförderung umzusetzen. In einem systematischen Review (Studie 1) wurden die vorhandenen englischsprachigen Studien, in denen solche Fortbildungsmaßnahmen evaluiert wurden, systematisch ausgewertet. Insgesamt wurden 38 Studien einbezogen. Anhand dieser wurde qualitativ-inhaltsanalytisch untersucht, ob Merkmale wirksamer Lehrkräftefortbildung, die aus der fächerübergreifenden Forschung bekannt sind, für das spezifische Feld der Sprachförderung im Fachunterricht ebenfalls von Bedeutung sind oder ob dort andere Merkmale eine Rolle spielen. Die Studien deuten darauf hin, dass alle evaluierten Fortbildungen zumindest in gewissem Maß wirksam waren. Im Ergebnis zeigte sich, dass die Maßnahmen viele Eigenschaften teilen, die für eine erfolgreiche Lehrkräftefortbildung über verschiedene Fächer hinweg wichtig sind. Sie enthalten darüber hinaus einige Merkmale, die spezifisch für Fortbildung zur fachintegrierten Sprachförderung zu sein scheinen. Das Review stützt die Annahme, dass Fortbildungen die Kognitionen und die Unterrichtspraxis von Lehrkräften verändern und den Schülerinnen und Schülern zugutekommen kann, wenn bestimmte Merkmale bei der Gestaltung und Umsetzung berücksichtigt werden. Aufbauend auf das Review wurden mit einer Meta-Analyse (Studie 2) die Effekte aus denjenigen zehn Studien aggregiert, die sich auf quantitative Weise analysieren ließen. Es wurde der Gesamteffekt der Fortbildungen sowohl auf die Kognitionen (z. B. Überzeugungen) der Lehrkräfte als auch auf das unterrichtspraktische Handeln (z. B. Verwendung sprachförderlicher Strategien) der Lehrkräfte ermittelt. Außerdem wurde untersucht, welche Rolle Merkmale der einbezogenen Studien sowie der Fortbildungen für die Ausprägung der Effekte spielen. Die Analysen ergaben einen kleinen Fortbildungseffekt auf die Kognitionen und einen mittleren bis großen Effekt auf das unterrichtspraktische Handeln der Lehrkräfte. Studienmerkmale, die die methodische Qualität der Studien betrafen, moderierten die Effekte. Dennoch deuten die Ergebnisse darauf hin, dass Fortbildung zur fachintegrierten Sprachförderung sich günstig auf die Kognitionen und Handlungen von Lehrkräften auswirkt. Mit einer quasi-experimentellen Tagebuchstudie (Studie 3) wurde eine in Deutschland umgesetzte Fortbildung zur integrierten Sprachförderung formativ evaluiert. Die zentrale Frage war, inwiefern die fortgebildeten Grundschullehrkräfte in der Maßnahme vermittelte Sprachförderstrategien nach eigenen Angaben häufiger anwenden als ihre Kolleginnen und Kollegen, die nicht an der Fortbildung teilgenommen hatten. Untersucht wurde außerdem, inwiefern Faktoren wie die berichtete Kooperation im Kollegium mit der berichteten Häufigkeit der Strategieanwendung zusammenhängen. Mit einem standardisierten Tagebuch wurden 59 Grundschullehrkräfte befragt. Die mehrebenenanalytische Auswertung der Daten ergab keine signifikanten Unterschiede in der angegebenen Häufigkeit der Strategieanwendung zwischen den beiden Gruppen. Allerdings wurde die Nutzung einiger Strategien häufiger berichtet, wenn die Kooperation im Kollegium höher eingeschätzt wurde. Zudem fühlten sich die fortgebildeten Lehrkräfte im Vergleich zu den nicht fortgebildeten in der Anwendung der Strategien sicherer. Die zentralen Ergebnisse dieser Dissertation werden abschließend zusammengefasst und diskutiert. Implikationen für zukünftige Forschung, Fortbildungspraxis und Bildungspolitik werden formuliert.
Article
Studying real-time teacher-student interaction provides insight into student's learning processes. In this study, upper grade elementary teachers were supported to optimize their instructional skills required for co-constructing scientific understanding. First, we examined the effect of the Video Feedback Coaching intervention by focusing on changes in teacher-student interaction patterns. Second, we examined the underlying dynamics of those changes by illustrating an in-depth micro-level analysis of teacher-student interactions. The intervention condition showed significant changes in the way scientific understanding was co-constructed. Results provided insight into how classroom interaction can elicit optimal co-construction and how this process changes during an intervention.
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This study reviews the European evidence on the impact of professional development (PD) of pre-school educators on child outcomes. A meta-analysis investigates how PD of pre-school educators in formal pre-school centers in Europe affects child outcomes. The European studies are quite recent and limited in numbers, and our results show a significant positive effect of PD on child outcomes with an overall effect size of 0.35 (with a 95% confidence interval from 0.20 to 0.51). The magnitude is slightly smaller than corresponding results based on US studies, but indicates a general positive effect of PD on child outcomes.
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Sometimes the world doesn't need to know about everything, right? First-grade teacher at sharing time Preface This study of ‘Sharing Time’ in a first‐grade classroom was part of a larger effort to address the problem of differential access to learning opportunities in ethnically and socioeconomically diverse classrooms. The work was written at a time when many teachers implicitly or explicitly subscribed to the ‘cultural deprivation’ theory for explaining school failure among ethnic and linguistic minority students. It was not uncommon to hear teachers talk about children who came from ‘nonverbal’ homes where ‘the TV is always on but no one ever talks to the children’, or about children who don't speak standard English, use double negatives, and thus don't reason logically. Challenges to this view were developing from work in linguistics by Labov (on the logic of non‐standard English) and from the tradition of ethnography of speaking by Hymes, Heath, Erickson, Cazden, Philips, and others. This study drew on this work but was centrally informed by work in interactional sociolinguistics, pioneered by John Gumperz and Jenny Cook‐Gumperz, which emphasized the systematic resources speakers from diverse cultural groups used to signal intent and interpretation of intent in managing conversational inference in face‐to‐face encounters. Taken together, all of this work has come to be looked at as supporting a cultural or linguistic ‘mismatch’ or ‘difference’ hypothesis – emphasizing difference rather than deficiency in linguistic and sociocultural tools for interaction, and the ways these differences influence access to instruction and evaluation of competence in academic settings.
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In this study, the sociocultural view of science as a language and some quantitative language features of the complementary theoretical framework of systemic functional linguistics are employed to analyse the utterances of three South African Physical Sciences teachers. Using a multi-case study methodology, this study provides a sophisticated description of the utterances of Pietermaritzburg Physical Sciences teachers in language contexts characterised by varying proportions of English Second Language (ESL) students in each class. The results reveal that, as expected, lexical cohesion as measured by the cohesive harmony index and proportion of repeated content words relative to total words, increased with an increasing proportion of ESL students. However, the use of nominalisation by the teachers and the lexical density of their utterances did not decrease with an increasing proportion of ESL students. Furthermore, the results reveal that each individual Physical Sciences teacher had a ‘signature’ talk, unrelated to the language context in which they taught. This study signals the urgent and critical need for South African science teacher training programmes to place a greater emphasis on the functional use of language for different language contexts in order to empower South African Physical Sciences teachers to adequately apprentice their students into the use of the register of scientific English.
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Language research thrives on data collected from spontaneous interactions in naturally occurring situations. However, the process of collecting, transcribing, and analyzing naturalistic data can be extremely time-consuming and often unreliable. This book describes three basic tools for language analysis of transcript data by computer that have been developed in the context of the "Child Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES)" project. These are: the "CHAT" transcription and coding format, the "CLAN" package of analysis programs, and the "CHILDES" database. These tools have brought about significant changes in the way research is conducted in the child language field. They are being used with great success by researchers working with second language learning, adult conversational interactions, sociological content analyses, and language recovery in aphasia, as well as by students of child language development. The tools are widely applicable, although this book concentrates on their use in the child language field, believing that researchers from other areas can make the necessary analogies to their own topics. This thoroughly revised 2nd edition includes documentation on a dozen new computer programs that have been added to the basic system for transcript analysis. The most important of these new programs is the "CHILDES" Text Editor (CED) which can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including editing non-Roman orthographies, systematically adding codes to transcripts, checking the files for correct use of "CHAT," and linking the files to digitized audio and videotape. In addition to information on the new computer programs, the manual documents changed the shape of the "CHILDES/BIB" system--given a major update in 1994--which now uses a new computer database system. The documentation for the "CHILDES" transcript database has been updated to include new information on old corpora and information on more than a dozen new corpora from many different languages. Finally, the system of "CHAT" notations for file transcript have been clarified to emphasize the ways in which the codes are used by particular "CLAN" programs. The new edition concludes with a discussion of new directions in transcript analysis and links between the "CHILDES" database and other developments in multimedia computing and global networking. It also includes complete references organized by research topic area for the more than 300 published articles that have made use of the "CHILDES" database and/or the "CLAN" programs. LEA also distributes the "CLAN" programs and the complete "CHILDES" Database--including corpora from several languages and discourse situations--described in "The CHILDES Project." Be sure to choose the correct platform (IBM or Macintosh) for the "CLAN" programs; the "CHILDES" Database CD-ROM runs on both platforms.
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Research Findings: We report on an assessment developed to document young children's narrative production after listening to short segments of science-related informational text (SciT) on life science, earth and space, and simple machines. We examine differences between kindergarten boys (n = 39) and girls (n = 29) on several indices of narrative production as well as on children's interest and reported use of SciT at home and school. We obtained evidence that young children understand and enjoy SciT. After a single reading of the text by an adult, children produced accurate paraphrases of the texts. We found no differences between girls and boys on any measure of meaning making or interest across all SciT topics. Children's scores were highest for the two life science texts and lowest for the earth and space texts. The SciT genre also appealed to the children; more than half said they would like to read similar books. However, opportunities for reading this genre at home or school differed between the sexes. Practice or Policy: Our results support the arguments that SciT is appropriate for children in the early grades and that children are likely to benefit from SciT with respect to both their reading and science learning.
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Sixty British primary school children aged 9‐10 and their teachers took part in an experimental teaching programme, designed to improve the quality of children's reasoning and collaborative activity by developing their awareness of language use and promoting certain ‘ground rules’ for talking together. Children's subsequent use of language when carrying out collaborative activities in the classroom was observed and analysed, and effects on their performance on Raven's Progressive Matrices test of non‐verbal reasoning were also investigated. Comparative data were gathered from children in matched control classes. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of discourse showed a marked shift in target children's use of language in accord with the aims of the teaching programme, and demonstrated that adherence to the ground rules helped groups solve the reasoning test problems. Children's individual scores on the Raven's test also improved. These findings support a sociocultural view of intellectual development and confirm the value of explicitly teaching children how to use language to reason.
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This study examined the effectiveness of an intentional versus an implicit approach to English oral language development in young children. A vocabulary intervention in science was developed using previous research on effective vocabulary and science instruction. Participants were 39 English-learning, bilingual, and monolingual English-speaking kindergartners from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds in 2 intact classrooms in an urban school in California. The 5-week-long intervention was implemented in 1 classroom where the students' regular classroom teacher taught 20 academic words from texts from the existing science curriculum in addition to the regular science curriculum. The control class received the regular science curriculum from the same teacher without the explicit vocabulary instruction. I used the Emergent Science Vocabulary Assessment, a picture test, to ascertain receptive vocabulary knowledge. I used the Conceptual Interviews on Scientific Understanding, a one-on-one interview protocol, to ascertain expressive knowledge of the words and scientific conceptual understanding related to the words. Findings showed that the intervention class learned more target words than the control class and that students who knew more of the vocabulary expressed their understanding of scientific concepts more effectively. I discuss instructional implications. (Contains 2 figures and 5 tables.)
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This essay considers the question of why we should teach science to K-2. After initial consideration of two traditional reasons for studying science, six assertions supporting the idea that even small children should be exposed to science are given. These are, in order: (1) Children naturally enjoy observing and thinking about nature. (2) Exposing students to science develops positive attitudes towards science. (3) Early exposure to scientific phenomena leads to better understanding of the scientific concepts studied later in a formal way. (4) The use of scientifically informed language at an early age influences the eventual development of scientific concepts. (5) Children can understand scientific concepts and reason scientifically. (6) Science is an efficient means for developing scientific thinking. Concrete illustrations of some of the ideas discussed in this essay, particularly, how language and prior knowledge may influence the development of scientific concepts, are then provided. The essay concludes by emphasizing that there is a window of opportunity that educators should exploit by presenting science as part of the curriculum in both kindergarten and the first years of primary school.
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This article describes the ScienceStart! Curriculum, an early childhood curriculum that takes coherently organized science content as the hub of an integrated approach. ScienceStart! maps onto the typical preschool day and may be adapted for use in full-day or half-day preschool programs. It is designed to support the important developmental achievements of the preschool years, particularly in the areas of language development, acquisition of preliteracy skills, problem solving, social interaction, and self-regulation, for example planning and attention management. Science content is highly engaging for young children because they are biologically prepared to learn about the world around them. Within this context, they are capable of acquiring a rich knowledge base that supports the acquisition of vocabulary and the use of higher order cognitive skills such as planning, predicting, and drawing inferences. Engaging content also provides a setting for a variety of language and literacy-related activities such as talking about activities, exchanging information, asking questions and planning how to answer them, reading aloud, consulting books for information, making charts and graphs, dictating reports, and describing careful observations. Each day’s science lesson is structured according to a simple cycle of scientific reasoning—reflect and ask, plan and predict, act and observe, report and reflect. The daily science lesson is supported by literature that is read aloud, by props included in the various learning centers, and by planned activities for art and outdoor play. Math and social studies content is integrated into the science activities on a regular basis. Lessons are organized into four modules, each of which lasts approximately 10–12 weeks. Within the modules, each lesson builds on the content of previous lessons and provides a foundation for subsequent lessons. In addition to being highly engaged, socially active, and rarely disruptive, children in ScienceStart! classes regularly show a significant gain of approximately 0.5 standard deviation on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, a standardized instrument that is commonly used to assess young children’s cognitive and linguistic level and the impact of intervention programs geared to better prepare preschoolers for academic success.
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The dialogic nature of discourse which stems from the work of [Bakhtin, M. (1994). Speech genres and other late essays. In P. Morris (Ed.), The dialogic imagination (pp. 81–87). London: Edward Arnold. (Original work published 1986)] provides important understandings in an investigation into the nature of classroom discourse. Using analytical tools informed by Systemic Functional Linguistic theory it is possible to articulate a variety of teacher talk strategies which enable the teacher to apprentice his students into the discipline of History.By examining in detail excerpts from two History lessons that occurred at the beginning of the first year of high school in an independent Australian boys’ school, some of the teacher talk strategies that lead to students’ developing the skills and content relevant to a particular subject area have been identified. These are repeating, recasting and recontextualising language to develop technical language; cued elicitation; modifying questioning to extend or reformulate student's reasoning and recycling ideas through busy clusters of words.
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This study examines academic language in early childhood. It covers children’s exposure to academic language in early childhood, children’s early production of academic language, the development of academic language proficiency and the co-construction of academic language by children and adults. The study is an in-depth study, which forms part of a larger interdisciplinary research project called ‘the Development of Academic language at School and Home’ (DASH). Twenty-five children were observed in interaction with their parent four times, between the ages of three and six. In addition, the children were observed in interaction with their teacher in first and second grade of primary education. The results of the study show that children are more frequently exposed to a number of language features characteristic of the academic register in the first two years of primary school than at home. However, the results also indicate that parents, who utilise a particular interaction with their child as an opportunity for their child to learn something new, typically create a linguistic context that contains features of the academic register. The way in which adults position children during spoken discourse has a strong influence on the nature of the conversation, and on the opportunities created for children’s own creative contributions to the particular discourse. Hence, when the social relationships are thus shaped, ample opportunity is created for knowledge transfer and co-construction, and the content of the conversation and the structure of the conversation follow accordingly in an ‘academic’ way. As such, children can become familiarised with the academic register at an early age.
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A major challenge to students learning science is the academic language in which science is written. Academic language is designed to be concise, precise, and authoritative. To achieve these goals, it uses sophisticated words and complex grammatical constructions that can disrupt reading comprehension and block learning. Students need help in learning academic vocabulary and how to process academic language if they are to become independent learners of science.
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This study investigated the family as a context for the gender typing of science achievement. Adolescents (N = 52) from 2 age levels (mean ages = 11 and 13 years) participated with their mothers and fathers on separate occasions; families were from predominantly middle-income European American backgrounds. Questionnaires measured the parents' and the child's attitudes. Each parent also engaged his or her child in 4 structured teaching activities (including science and nonscience tasks). There were no child gender or grade-level differences in children's science-related grades, self-efficacy, or interest. However, parents were more likely to believe that science was less interesting and more difficult for daughters than sons. In addition, parents' beliefs significantly predicted children's interest and self-efficacy in science. When parents' teaching language was examined, fathers tended to use more cognitively demanding speech with sons than with daughters during one of the science tasks.
Article
This study examined the relations between the home language and literacy environment and emergent skill to use academic language in a sample of 58 3-year-old Dutch children, focusing on production and comprehension in 3 genres: personal narrative, impersonal narrative, and instruction in play. Regarding production, children used academic language most in the impersonal narrative genre. Regression analyses, controlling for verbal short-term memory, showed that the home language and literacy environment predicted children's ability to use academic language in the impersonal and personal narrative genres. Results regarding the instruction genre were less clear cut. Although not fully conclusive, the results indicate that the relation between home language and literacy environment and children's emergent academic language is genre specific. The findings suggest that early familiarization with academic language through language and literacy activities at home and in preschool can contribute to children's school readiness.
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Research Findings: This article focuses on preschool science, an important but underresearched school readiness domain. There is considerable activity surrounding quality science in early childhood classroom practices, including state standards, curricula with science activities, and an extensive literature on potential best practices. However, there is very little empirical research focused on the effectiveness of these practices. The present article presents preliminary investigative research, a necessary first step in pursuing a research area that has been underexplored. The first study uses a large, ethnically diverse statewide database of Head Start children's school readiness to show that children end their pre-kindergarten year with science readiness scores significantly lower than readiness scores in all other measured domains. The second study identifies low self-efficacy in science and time-management issues as two possible barriers for why preschool teachers may have difficulty teaching science. The third study reports on a program designed to integrate other readiness domains around science activities, with promising results for children's school readiness in multiple domains. Practice or Policy: The article concludes with a discussion of future directions, emphasizing the need to focus on science in preschool classrooms and the critical role that science education can potentially play in improving early childhood classroom practices and child outcomes.
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As this publication is a full book, it cannot be freely shared. If you wold like to purchase a copy, you can do so at https://www.guilford.com/books/Bringing-Words-to-Life/Beck-McKeown-Kucan/9781462508167
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Background This paper compares the findings from a recent, large-scale UK-wide survey of primary teachers' confidence in teaching science with the results of a seminal report carried out 10 years ago by Wynne Harlen in Scotland. Recent reports from across the UK have indicated there are still serious concerns relating to primary teachers' confidence and ability to teach science effectively.Purpose The main research aims were to provide a clear, evidence-based analysis of the current issues facing primary science in the UK; explore primary teachers' confidence in science teaching and to evaluate the impact of science initiatives taking place in UK primary schools.Sample The sample for the study comprised: telephone interviews with 300 primary teachers from all UK regions; seven focus groups of primary teachers held in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to further explore the issues raised in the telephone interviews; and workshops from a two-day conference of 75 stakeholders in primary science from all UK regions (approximately half the delegates were teachers; also represented were teacher educators (initial and continuing professional development), curriculum developers and policy-makers). In addition, 100 teacher education institutions were surveyed in relation to their participation in primary science initiatives.Design and methods The methodology for both studies comprised qualitative and quantitative elements (see sample details, above). All data were collected between June and September 2004.Results The findings indicated that there are improvements in some areas of primary teachers' confidence in teaching science. However, the study showed that half of the teachers surveyed cited lack of teacher confidence and ability to teach science as the current issue of major concern in primary science. This paper also reports on some of the professional development initiatives carried out by higher education institutions in primary science.Conclusions The paper concludes that there has been some progress in developing teacher confidence in primary science over the past 10 years. However, the situation is still critical for all stakeholders. Half of the teachers surveyed in the UK for the present study identified lack of teacher confidence and ability to teach science as the major issue of concern in primary science. Higher education institutions need to enhance the preparation of new primary teachers to ensure that they are all confident and effective teachers of science. They could also increase their partnership work with schools and other continuing professional development (CPD) providers in relation to primary science. The evidence demonstrates clearly that there is a need for substantially increasing science professional development for primary teachers. It also shows that such professional development could be more effectively targeted at specific aspects of science teaching that are more challenging for teachers. Further, the study shows that professional development in science works, in that teachers who have experienced science continuing professional development (CPD) are much more confident to teach science than those who have not.
Article
This book is about how language is used in the context of schooling. It demonstrates that the variety of English expected at school differs from the interactional language that students use for social purposes outside of school, and provides a linguistic analysis of the challenges of the school curriculum, particularly for non-native speakers of English, speakers of non-standard dialects, and students who have little exposure to academic language outside of schools. The Language of Schooling: A Functional Linguistics Perspective builds on current sociolinguistic and discourse-analytic studies of language in school, but adds a new dimension--the framework of functional linguistic analysis. This framework focuses not just on the structure of words and sentences, but on how texts are constructed--how particular grammatical choices create meanings in the different kinds of texts students are asked to read and write at school. The Language of Schooling: A Functional Linguistics Perspective * provides a functional description of the kinds of texts students are expected to read and write at school; * relates research from other sociolinguistic and language development perspectives to research from the systemic functional linguistics perspective; * focuses on the increasing linguistic demands of contexts of advanced literacy (middle school through college); * analyzes the genres typically encountered at school, with extensive description of the grammatical features of the expository essay, a gatekeeping genre for secondary school graduates; * reviews the grammatical features of disciplinary genres in science and history; and * argues for more explicit attention to language in teaching all subjects, with a particular focus on what is needed for the development of critical literacy. This book will enable researchers and students of language in education to recognize how the grammatical and discourse features of the language of schooling construct the content areas, role relationships, and purposes and expectations of schools. It also will enable them to better understand the nature of language itself and how it emerges from and helps to maintain social structures and institutions, and to apply these understandings to creating classroom environments that build on the strengths students bring to school. © 2004 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.
Article
We argue that to test preschoolers' understanding of counting, one has to use tasks that relate counting to the goal of doing arithmetic, as counting and arithmetic principles are mutually constrained. A naturalistic study in the preschool classroom led to the development of an "arithmetic-counting" task, where counting was being related to the goal of doing arithmetic. In solving an arithmetic problem, the child viewed the addition or subtraction of X items from a set with a known number, predicted the answer, and then counted the items in the resultant array to check the prediction. Three experiments, one with 4-year-olds who had relevant in-class experience with the task (Experiment 1), and two others with 4-year-olds (Experiment 2) and 3-year-olds (Experiment 3) who were novices with regard to the task, are reported. All children, even the 3-year-olds, offered reasonable cardinal values during the prediction phase and used counting to check their predictions. Predictions were reliable, in the correct direction or correct, and checking counts were very accurate. Young children's ability to make reasonable predictions and coordinate these with counts "to check" indicated the implicit understanding of counting and arithmetic principles. The theoretical and practical implications of our findings are discussed. © 2004 Published by Elsevier Inc.
Article
This study emerged from a consideration of how some beginning primary school teachers cope when faced with teaching science. Primary teachers typically lack science content knowledge and therefore the science pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) that enables them to teach science. Aspects of a group of beginning primary school teachers'' science teaching practices were consequently examined in order to understand better the basis of their practice. In particular, science PCK and its relationship to activities that work were considered, illuminated by findings about activities that work from a separate study with practicing teachers. The main assertion arising from this study is that activities that work have a close relationship with science PCK. A number of implications for primary science curriculum emerge from this assertion, such as considerations for preservice teacher education science courses and the nature of the primary science curriculum.
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This study investigated preschool science environments in 20 preschool classrooms (N=20) in 13 midwestern child care centers. By operationalizing Neuman’s concept of “sciencing,” this study used The Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist, the Preschool Classroom Science Activities Checklist, and the Preschool Teacher Classroom/Sciencing Form to analyze the availability of science materials, equipment, and activities for preschoolers in the classroom. Each teacher was videotaped for two consecutive days during free play time. The study showed that half of the preschool classrooms had a science area. The activities that the preschool teachers engaged were mostly unrelated to science activities (86.8%), 4.5% of the activities were related to formal sciencing, and 8.8% of the activities were related to informal sciencing.
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The current paper considers how children spend their time in state-funded pre-kindergarten programs and how time use relates to ethnicity, gender, and family income, based on the assumption that how time is spent in pre-kindergarten is relevant for the programs’ success in narrowing achievement gaps. Classroom observations of 2061 children in 652 pre-k programs in 11 states were analyzed. Findings indicated that the pre-kindergarten day was roughly equally divided among free choice, teacher-assigned activities, and meals/routines. Children spent much of their time in language/literacy, social studies, and art, and less time in math and gross motor activities. Much of the pre-k day was spent in ‘no coded learning activity.’ Children in classes with lower proportions of Latino and African American children and higher average income-to-need ratios were generally engaged in richer and more stimulating experiences. The child-level variables of ethnicity and income were generally unrelated to how children spent their time, above and beyond the effects of classroom-level ethnicity and income. There were generally small, but significant gender differences – always in the gender-stereotyped direction – in how time was spent, especially during free choice time.
Article
Preschool Pathways to Science (PrePS©) is a science and math program for pre-K children that has been developed by a team of developmental psychologists in full collaboration with preschool directors, teachers and other staff. The PrePS© approach is rooted in domain-specific theories of development, theories that assume that different areas of knowledge are organized into separate mental structures as opposed to domain-general ones like concrete operations. Features of this theoretical stance are outlined, and their implications for educational practice are illustrated using examples from classroom practice. Specific attention is paid to the importance of science process skills, the need to connect experiences using a central concept, and the roles of math, communication, and literacy in a science-based learning approach. Finally, the critical interdependence of basic research and classroom practice is discussed.
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