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(Free to download through January 2020): Recent research emphasizing disciplinary identities in the classroom indicates the importance of social interaction and inclusion in the classroom, yet only limited work focuses on how peer-initiated exclusion impacts learners. This study addresses that gap by examining the role of microexclusions, or affronts to sense of belonging and competence, in collaborative groups in 7th grade inquiry science classrooms. The qualitative analyses here involved videorecorded observations for 5 small groups of students participating in a semester-long series of inquiry life science units. A total of 19 observations were analyzed across the 5 groups. Five themes were identified across the groups: individualization or splitting of the group, adversarial interactions within the group, uneven access to regulatory roles within the group, lagging group members, and using diffuse status characteristics to redirect group activity. Results indicate that microexclusions redirect learners' behavior toward managing participation dynamics inside the group at the cost of inclusion and group functioning. Implications for equity and science education reform are provided considering findings.

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... However, several issues still exist that may jeopardise migrant students' inclusion and school belonging (e.g., Abu El-Haj & Skilton, 2017;Souto-Manning, 2021;Van Caudenberg et al., 2020). Such challenges are, among others, placing migrant students in separated newcomer or language classes that might lead many students to lower educational pathways and limited learning opportunities (Emery et al., 2021), schools' monolingual policies and teaching norms (Gogolin, 2021), school practitioners' challenges in teaching migrant and refugee children (Pastoor, 2015;Szelei et al., 2020), racialising and "othering" discourses (Ambrose, 2020;Souto-Manning, 2021;Szelei et al., 2021), and experiences of exclusion and victimisation in schools (D'hondt et al., 2015;Adams-Wiggins, 2020). When taking these issues together, schools often create what Abu El-Haj and Skilton (2017) call an "illusion of inclusion." ...
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This article investigates school belonging among migrant students and how this changed during the Covid‐19 pandemic. Drawing on quantitative data gathered from 751 migrant students in secondary schools in six European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the UK), we examined the impact of Covid‐19 school closures, social support, and post‐traumatic stress symptoms on changes in school belonging. Linear regression showed a non‐significant decrease in school belonging, and none of the studied variables had a significant effect on this change in our whole sample. However, sensitivity analysis on a subsample from three countries (Denmark, Finland, and the UK) showed a small but significant negative effect of increasing post‐traumatic stress symptoms on school belonging during Covid‐19 school closures. Given that scholarship on school belonging during Covid‐19 is emergent, this study delineates some key areas for future research on the relationship between wellbeing, school belonging, and inclusion.
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This study extends prior research on both individual self-regulation and socially shared regulation during group learning to examine the range and quality of the cognitive and behavioral social regulatory sub-processes employed by six small collaborative groups of upper-elementary students (n = 24). Qualitative analyses were conducted based on videotaped observations of groups across a series of three mathematics tasks. Variation in the quality of social regulation as a function of group processes (positive and negative socioemotional interactions, collaborative and non-collaborative interactions) was also considered. Findings suggested that the synergy among the social regulatory processes of planning, monitoring, and behavioral engagement was important for differentiating quality variation between groups. Positive socioemotional interactions and collaboration also appeared to facilitate higher quality social regulation. Implications for comprehensively supporting high quality social regulation, alongside positive socioemotional interactions and collaboration, in small group contexts are discussed.
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Equity is a concept that is often measured in terms of test scores, with educators looking for equal test scores among students of different cultural groups, social classes or sexes. In this article the term ‘relational equity’ is proposed to describe equitable relations in classrooms; relations that include students treating each other with respect and responsibility. This concept will be illustrated through the results of a four‐year study of different mathematics teaching approaches, conducted in three Californian high schools. In one of the schools—a diverse, urban high school—students achieved at higher levels, learned good behaviour, and learned to respect students from different cultural groups, social classes, ability levels and sexes. In addition, differences in attainment between different cultural groups were eliminated in some cases and reduced in all others. Importantly, the goals of high achievement and equity were achieved in tandem through a mixed‐ability mathematics approach that is not used or well known in the UK.
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In this study I investigated how collaborative interactions influence problem-solving outcomes. Conversations of twelve 6th-grade triads were analyzed utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods. Neither prior achievement of group members nor the generation of correct ideas for solution could account for between-triad differences in problem-solving outcomes. Instead, both characteristics of proposals and partner responsiveness were important correlates of the uptake and documentation of correct ideas by the group. Less successful groups ignored or rejected correct proposals, whereas more successful groups discussed or accepted them. Conversations in less successful groups were relatively incoherent as measured by the extent that proposals for solutions in these groups were connected with preceding discussions. Performance differences observed in triads extended to subsequent problem-solving sessions during which all students solved the same kinds of problems independently. These findings suggest that the quality of interaction had implications for teaming. Case study descriptions illustrate the interweaving of social and cognitive factors involved in establishing a joint problem-solving space. A dual-space model of what collaboration requires of participants is described to clarify how the content of the problem and the relational context are interdependent aspects of the collaborative situation. How participants manage these interacting spaces is critical to the outcome of their work and helps account for variability in collaborative outcomes. Directions for future research that may help teachers, students, and designers of educational environments learn to see and foster productive interactional practices are proposed. The properties of groups of minds in interaction with each other, or the properties of the interaction between individual minds and artifacts in the world, are frequently at the heart of intelligent human performance (Hutchins, 1993, p. 62).
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Prior research on collaborative learning identifies student behaviors that significantly predict student achievement, such as giving explanations of one’s thinking. Less often studied is the role of teachers’ instructional practices in collaboration among students. This article investigates the extent to which teachers engage in practices that support students’ explanations of their thinking, and how these teacher practices might be related to the nature of explanations that students give when asked by the teacher to collaborate with each other. The teachers observed here, all of whom received specific instruction in eliciting the details of student thinking, varied significantly in the extent to which they asked students to elaborate on their suggestions. This variation corresponded to variation across classrooms in the nature and extent of student explanations during collaborative conversations and to differences in student achievement.
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Research and practice has placed an increasing emphasis on aligning classroom practices with scientific practices such as scientific argumentation. In this paper, I explore 1 challenge associated with this goal by examining how existing classroom practices influence students' engagement in the practice of scientific argumentation. To do so, I present discourse data from 2 middle school classes engaged in argumentation activities. For each class, I compare existing classroom practices to a discussion designed to facilitate argumentation. My analysis reveals that the existing classroom practices influenced the way in which students responded to the disparate ideas being discussed and that the immediate learning environment influenced the frequency with which students justified their ideas and directly responded to one another. This study suggests that the goal structures that aligned with the existing classroom practices carried over to students' argumentative interactions, influencing how they responded to the disparate ideas. However, the immediate learning environment—including activity structure, software tools, and teaching strategies—seemed to foster student-to-student interactions and justification of ideas.
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Scientific argumentation is increasingly seen as a key inquiry practice for students in science classrooms. This is a complex practice that entails three overlapping, instructional goals: Participants articulatetheir understandings and work to persuadeothers of those understandings in order to make sense of the phenomenon under study (L. K. Berland & B. J. Reiser, 2009). This study examines the argumentative discussions that emerged in two middle school science classrooms to explore variation in how the goals of sensemaking and persuasion were taken up. Our analyses reveals that each classroom engaged with these two goals but that they did so quite differently. These differences suggest that the students in each class had overlapping but different interpretations of argumentation. In addition, comparing across the class' arguments suggests these two goals of scientific argumentation may be in tension with one another. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Sci Ed95: 191–216, 2011
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Epistemic criteria are the standards used to evaluate scientific products (e.g., models, evidence, arguments). In this study, we analyzed epistemic criteria for good models generated by 324 middle-school students. After evaluating a range of scientific models, but before extensive instruction or experience with model-based reasoning practices, students generated lists of criteria of good scientific models. Students' individual lists of criteria were compared to expert criteria, identified by philosophers of science, and with findings from previous research on students' understanding of modeling. The most commonly listed criteria referred to the clarity, pictorial form, and explanatory function of models. Almost a quarter of the students included criteria relating to model fit with evidence. Students' criteria provided insights into their understanding of the explanatory and descriptive goals of models; the constitutive, communicative, and epistemic features of models; and the role of evidence in supporting models. Collectively, students demonstrated familiarity with a wide range of modeling ideas that can be leveraged in instruction to promote deeper understandings of the modeling practice. We argue that inquiry-based science instruction should include a strong emphasis on epistemic criteria. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Inc. J Res Sci Teach 48: 486–511, 2011
Article
Genetics is the cornerstone of modern biology and understanding genetics is a critical aspect of scientific literacy. Research has shown, however, that many high school graduates lack fundamental understandings in genetics necessary to make informed decisions or to participate in public debates over emerging technologies in molecular genetics. Currently, much of genetics instruction occurs at the high school level. However, recent policy reports suggest that we may need to begin introducing aspects of core concepts in earlier grades and to successively develop students’ understandings of these concepts in subsequent grades. Given the paucity of research about genetics learning at the middle school level, we know very little about what students in earlier grades are capable of reasoning about in this domain. In this paper, we discuss a research study aimed at fostering deeper understandings of molecular genetics at the middle school level. As part of the research we designed a two-week model-based inquiry unit implemented in two 7th grade classrooms (N = 135). We describe our instructional design and report results based on analysis of pre/post assessments and written artifacts of the unit. Our findings suggest that middle school students can develop: (a) a view of genes as productive instructions for proteins, (b) an understanding of the role of proteins in mediating genetic effects, and (c) can use this knowledge to reason about a novel genetic phenomena. However, there were significant differences in the learning gains in both classrooms and we provide speculative explanations of what may have caused these differences. KeywordsBiology–Curriculum development–Genetics–Implementation–Middle school–Qualitative research
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In this article, interactive processes among group partners and the relationship of these processes to problem-solving outcomes are investigated in 2 contrasting groups. The case study groups were selected for robust differences in the quality of their written solutions to a problem and parallel differences in the quality of the group members' interaction. In 1 group correct proposals were generated, confirmed, docu- mented, and reflected upon. In the other, they were generated, rejected without ratio- nale, and for the most part left undocumented. The analyses identified 3 major contrastive dimensions in group interaction—the mutuality of exchanges, the achievement of joint attentional engagement, and the alignment of group members' goals for the problem solving process. A focus on group-level characteristics offers a distinctive strategy for examining small group learning and paves the way to under- standing reasons for variability of outcomes in collaborative ventures. These dimen- sions may usefully inform the design and assessment of collaborative learning envi- ronments.
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