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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teaching Science to Latino English Learners: A Phenomenological Study
by Berrios, Samuel, Ed.D., Aurora University, 2019, 188; 27543500
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the lived experiences of science teachers who teach science to Latino English Leaners. Science is important for economic development and other contributions to society. It is also crucial that citizens have enough knowledge of science and scientific discoveries to make informed decisions. Latino EL students constitute a significant portion of the student population in the US. The most recent version of science standards are the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). It is important to study science instruction for Latino EL students and how science educators can address their educational needs in science. The research questions that guided this study were: what are the experiences of science teachers who teach science to EL students and what is it like to teach science when NGSS are the basis of science curriculum and teaching. A phenomenological approach was used to conduct this study. Phenomenology is defined as the study of human experience and of the ways things present themselves to us in and through such experience. Eight science educators participated in this study; four from suburban school districts in Illinois and four from other parts of the country. Participants were selected using an online survey. Participants participated in semi-structured interviews and submitted journals and living graphs that describe their experiences and development as educators. Four main themes were identified from the analysis of the data: love, passion, effort, and pride. Participants shared many experiences that reveal the challenges and difficulties they encounter in the task to teach science to their students. Using the NGSS standards provides guidance and a roadmap of what needs to be taught, but using the standards can be challenging without the proper training and support. Participant experiences also show that they love teaching and science. They are passionate about their profession and the subject they teach. This love and passion sustain them through the difficult situations they face. Although they care about their work and feel proud of their accomplishments, participants are especially proud of their students. Science standards are very important, but participants see their practice and dedication to the subject and their students as more essential to teaching and learning science than the standards. The study concludes with recommendations for future research and practice. Recommendations include studying the students’ perspective on science instruction, the administrative view in hiring and training science and EL teachers, examining the experiences of elementary science teachers, and researching the student and teacher experiences in more specific fields of science instruction, such as engineering.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Heybach, Jessica
Commitee: Thomas, Jay, Rahn, Regina
School: Aurora University
Department: Leadership in Educational Administration
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, Science education, Elementary education, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Constructivism, EL students, Latino students, NGSS, Phenomenology, Science
Publication Number: 27543500
ISBN: 9781392678244
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