Using passions as driving forces and spaces as primary resources for science education with emergent bilingual students in middle school
Vázquez Domínguez, Max
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Much of the research on science education with emergent bilingual students has focused on using culturally relevant practices to enhance children’s communication of science ideas. In this dissertation I studied how emergent bilingual students and their science teachers engaged in different processes to promote meaningful relations with space-student interactions and the integration of passionate activities in science learning. Using assemblage theory as a guiding framework that emphasizes the elucidation of processes in which material and expressive elements interact, I studied: (a) What occurred during a teacher institute and summer student academy with secondary science teachers implementing science investigations and using material resources and spaces with their emergent bilingual students, and (b) an afterschool soccer program with a middle school science teacher/soccer coach where I collaborated in implementing a set of soccer with science activities with a group of emergent bilingual students. Organized as three article-length manuscripts, the dissertation begins with an article focused on research with how science teachers promote and build science-learning environments with their emergent bilingual students in the classroom. The resources needed to accomplish this goal are discussed and the processes that allow science teachers to use cultural resources are considered. The second article examines emergent bilingual students’ engagement in soccer with science practices in an afterschool soccer program with an 8th grade science teacher who was also the soccer coach. Ways in which a passionate activity that is growing in popularity in the United States can be used with middle school students to engage them in thinking and communicating their science ideas are investigated. The final article provides an insight about my experiences as a teacher- researcher working with a middle school science teacher/soccer coach, two university researchers, and a group of emergent bilingual students and implementing a set of six soccer with science activities in a middle school afterschool program. The overarching goals of this dissertation research were to find productive ways to integrate different cultural practices in science teaching and learning and to reimagine the physical spaces of the science classroom to support science teachers’ work with emergent bilingual students in science education.