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An exploratory case study: the impact of constructivist-based teaching on English language learners understanding of science in a middle school classroom

by Seimears, C. Matt

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this exploratory case study was to explore the middle school science classroom of a constructivist teacher and examine how constructivist-based teaching influences ELL students and their learning of science. The researcher’s purpose was to discover patterns which emerged after close observations, careful documentation, and thoughtful analysis of the research topic. What was discovered by this exploratory case study was not sweeping generalizations but contextual findings.

This case study was conducted in the spring of 2006. The researcher sought to answer the question, “How does constructivist teaching help middle school English Language Learners understand science?” Two variable clusters were examined: 1) the independent variable cluster of the constructivist teaching practices of the one selected teacher; and 2) the dependent variable cluster of the middle school English Language Learners understanding of the science concepts being taught. Four broad categories of data were collected: 1) observations of teaching and learning (including teaching plans and other teaching materials); 2) interviews related to teaching and learning; 3) inventories of teaching and learning; and 4) artifacts of learning.

Steve Loos an eighth grade middle school science teacher is an expert constructivist-based teacher. His teaching influences English Language Learners understanding of the science concepts being taught. Steve’s teaching influenced the English Language Learners through a variety of pedagogical strategies. The researcher concluded in this study that, “Constructivist teaching helps middle school English Language Learners understand science.”

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kansas State University

School Location:USA - Kansas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:science study and teaching middle school curriculum education instruction 0727

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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