Improving the preparation of novice secondary science teachers for English learners: A proof of concept study

This proof of concept study investigated a secondary science teacher preparation intervention in six university programs across Arizona, California, and Texas. Researchers and science method instructors (SMIs) collaboratively restructured respective science method courses to hold fidelity to an interrelated set of instructional practices that attend to science learning as envisioned in a Framework for K–12 Science Education, while also creating contextualized spaces for language and literacy development targeted to English learners (ELs), but also supportive of “mainstream” students. We observed the teaching of SMIs and preservice teachers (PSTs) with observation rubrics to gauge the fidelity to which they implemented practices. Across programs, SMIs provided opportunities for PSTs to experience the instructional practices as intended, although there was less opportunity for pedagogical development around them. The strongest evidence of PST fidelity to the intervention was found for two practices: “Increasing student interaction” and “Facilitating student talk.” Considerable variation was found across the programs for other practices including some evidence of negative effects. We discuss results in terms of promises for preparing novice secondary science teachers, as well as future directions to overcome challenges that researchers, SMIs, and novice teachers are likely to face when preparing novice science teachers.

Lyon, E. G., Stoddart, T., Bunch, G. C., Tolbert, S., Salinas, I., & Solis, J. (2018). Improving the preparation of novice secondary science teachers for English learners: A proof of concept study. Science Education. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21473

Year: 
2018
Short Description: 
This proof of concept study investigated a secondary science teacher preparation intervention in six university programs across Arizona, California, and Texas. Researchers and science method instructors (SMIs) collaboratively restructured respective science method courses to hold fidelity to an interrelated set of instructional practices that attend to science learning as envisioned in a Framework for K–12 Science Education, while also creating contextualized spaces for language and literacy development targeted to English learners (ELs), but also supportive of “mainstream” students.