Teachers Understanding of Language and Literacy as a Key for Inclusive Science Education (ISE)

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Teachers Understanding of Language and Literacy as a Key for Inclusive Science Education (ISE)


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Publication Conference Meeting abstract
Title Teachers Understanding of Language and Literacy as a Key for Inclusive Science Education (ISE)
Author Jakobsson, Anders
Research Centre Literacy and inclusive subject teaching in a multilingual society
Date 2019
English abstract
This symposium aims to provide a space to consider the roles of language and literacy in teaching and learning science in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. Although the importance of language for teaching and learning science is widely accepted (Yore, 2011); the complex nature of the modern society, along with awareness of multiple modes and specific affordances of language, call for critical consideration of specific challenges and possibilities. In this context, learning science may be considered as being introduced in a specific language and literacy practice. Given this background, a large number of studies (OECD 2017) in a European context show that providing high-quality teaching and developing students’ literacy skills in heterogeneous language classrooms is a major challenge facing education today. Other studies (Schleppegrell, 2013) indicate that teachers display a lack of experience and professional knowledge about how science education could be organized to support multilingual students’ needs when it comes to developing their language and conceptual knowledge. However, guiding students into literacy is acknowledged to play a crucial role for all students, including native speakers from non-academic backgrounds. This symposium brings together empirical research that aims to explore how teachers may be prepared for these challenges. We will highlight the development of theory on the role of language in science teaching and discuss practical insights for teachers on language and literacy demands and the ways these can be addressed in order to provide equal opportunities and enhance the learning processes for all students. The first presentation explores secondary teachers’ understanding of the role of language in science instruction and investigate which aspects of this role teachers emphasize when discussing students’ learning. The data consists of observations and documentation of teachers’ discussions during an in-service training course about language and literacy perspectives in science teaching. The analysis reveals the existence of different teacher approaches when it comes to including language and literacy perspectives in teaching science. The second presentation focuses on how upper secondary physics teachers contextualize activities when supporting students’ learning. Through a design-based approach the teachers included language perspectives through talk- and writing-in-interaction when teaching Newton’s laws of motion, energy and electricity. The data consists of field notes, snapshots of experiments, texts and theoretical models. Results show three phases of teachers’ development in the design process: orientation, intensification and consolidation. The third presentation explores how interventions in teacher education can lead to teacher students understanding and enactment in practice. The data collection included interviews with teacher educators and teacher students and video documentation of lessons. The study resulted in a design called ‘KALISTTE’ (Knowledge About Language In Science and Technology Teacher Education) and six design principles. The fourth presentation reports on an ongoing design study in three European countries. The aim is to contribute to inclusive science education through analyzing teachers’ classroom work across educational contexts, when provided with tools to introduce literacy approaches. Four types of inclusive strategies were introduced: interactive strategies, planned scaffolding, interactional scaffolding and using multilingual resources. In the data collection groups of teachers were followed through classroom observations and reflective logs while working with units in multilingual primary classrooms. References: OECD (2017). Education at a Glance 2017, OECD Indicators. OECD Publishing, Paris. Schleppegrell, M. J. (2013). The Role of Metalanguage in Supporting Academic Language Development. Language Learning. A Journal of Research in Language Studies, 63(1), 153–170. Yore, L. D. (2011). Foundations of scientific, mathematical, and technological literacies—Common themes and theoretical frameworks. In Centre for science, mathematics, and technology literacy: Lessons learned (pp. 23-44). SensePublishers.
European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) (26-30 August, 2019 : Bologna, Italy)
Language eng (iso)
Subject Languagage use in science education
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/30812 Permalink to this page
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