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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Texas at Austin
  • María González-Howard
  • (845) 594-1672
Award Date:01/16/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,102,612
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 176,647
  • FY 2020=$176,647
Start Date:01/15/2020
End Date:12/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Developing Elementary Preservice Teachers' Understandings and Abilities to Support Emerging Bilingual Students Scientific Sensemaking
Federal Award ID Number:1942912
DUNS ID:170230239
Parent DUNS ID:042000273
Program:Discovery Research K-12
Program Officer:
  • Celestine Pea
  • (703) 292-5186

Awardee Location

Street:3925 W Braker Lane, Ste 3.340
Awardee Cong. District:10

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:The University of Texas at Austin
Street:3925 W Braker Lane, Ste 3.340
Cong. District:10

Abstract at Time of Award

This project will study ways to improve classroom instruction grounded in science practices to address inequities in science education for emerging bilingual students. Currently, many elementary school teachers are unfamiliar with science practices and are unprepared to teach emerging bilingual students since they never received training in either area. This project will address this lack of training and create research-based resources for teacher educators that focus on developing preservice elementary teachers’ understanding and abilities to support emerging bilingual students’ engagement in science practices. The study will be guided by the following objectives, which are to research: (1) the understandings of exemplary elementary teachers around science, language, and emerging bilingual students, and the relationship between these understandings and their instructional practices for supporting student sensemaking; (2) preservice teachers’ understandings and practices related to supporting emerging bilingual students’ sensemaking; (3) the development of an elementary science methods course, and educator resources, that support teacher learning about the role of language in science practices and approaches for supporting emerging bilingual students’ sensemaking; and (4) the impact of this course, and its teacher educator resources, on preservice teachers’ understandings and instructional practices. With little prior research having looked at the intersection of science and language learning, this project will advance knowledge in this regard. Through a mixed-methods design, this project will investigate interrelated aspects of teacher understandings, teacher practice, and teacher learning around supporting emerging bilingual students’ scientific sensemaking. Phase 1 of the project includes examining the instructional approaches around science practices of exemplary elementary school teachers that work in different types of school contexts with emerging bilingual students. Such strategies will go beyond traditional subject-matter knowledge and skills to include teacher encouragement of students using linguistic and nonlinguistic modes for communicating ideas; development of a deeper understanding of natural scientific phenomena; and engagement with and valuing of students’ families, communities, and lived experiences. These combined efforts will capture and illustrate compelling examples of possible instantiations of engagement in science practices while being mindful of and responsive to emerging bilingual students’ language assets, needs, and English development. Findings from Phase 1 will be used for Phase 2 of this project, which focuses on iteratively designing and analyzing a science methods course and resources for preservice teachers’ pedagogical development across science and language learning. The CAREER program is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-wide activity that offers awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. This project is supported by NSF's Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) program. DRK-12 seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by preK-12 students and teachers through research and development of innovative resources, models and tools. Projects in the DRK-12 program build on fundamental research in STEM education and prior research and development efforts that provide theoretical and empirical justification for proposed projects. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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