The purpose of this dissertation was to understand how young, urban, African American girls learn new science discourse. The research questions focused on three units of analysis: the teacher, the student, and the discourse. These research questions were the following: (1) How is a congruent Third Space constructed by the teacher in this classroom? (2) How do the girls construct and/or react to a congruent Third Space? (3) How and in what ways is the scientific discourse documented in the classroom a representation of congruent Third Space construction? This study was conducted over 9 weeks in the fall of 2009. The participants were 24 kindergarten girls and one kindergarten teacher. The methodology used was a type of narrative inquiry called, Portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997). A variety of data was collected including, student and teacher interviews, videotaped instruction, field notes, student journals, and researcher journal. Critical events analysis (Webster & Mertova, 2007) was used to identify the important events that were described in the narrative. This three-level analyses identified there were several ways this teacher helped the girls to incorporate new science discourse. First, there were four types of experiences found in this classroom: reading aloud, science activity, general classroom activity and field trip. Second, there were a variety of types of events that the participants identified: Encouragement of Discourse, Desire for the girls to succeed, Observational focus, Flexible practices, Community members’ involvement, and understands place. Finally, there were many categories of events such as promoting discussion, compassion, balancing involvement, focuses on the successes of place, and demands excellence. Each of these categories was represented in three portraits. Overall, this study discovered ways wherein the teacher created an environment to support these girls’ understanding of new science discourse, how the girls reacted to the environment, and the ways in which they used these words.
|Advisor:||Buck, Gayle A.|
|Commitee:||Akerson, Valarie L., Atalay, Sonya, Yazzie-Mintz, Tarajean|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Elementary education, Curriculum development|
|Keywords:||African-American, Critical events analysis, Discourse, Portraiture, Science education, Scientific discourse, Third space, Urban|
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