Word Generation and Engaging Students for Scientific

Report
Presented by:
Alex Lin
Dr. Joshua Lawrence
Dr. Raul Lejano
Initial Motivation for Word
Generation
Conversations with teachers in many middle schools
revealed that:
• Teachers report good word reading, but poor
comprehension
• All-purpose academic vocabulary was rarely taught
• Context area texts were often difficult and rarely
interesting
• Many students were disengaged
• Teachers frequently lectured, rather than guiding
students through reading
Word
Generation Goals
Program
Features
• Build middle school students’ vocabulary through
repeated exposure to high frequency academic
words in various contexts
• Support teachers in regular use of effective
instructional strategies for vocabulary across all
content areas
• Passages written to engage adolescents in highlevel discussions on nationally-relevant topics
– Should there be federal funding for stem cell research?
– Should athletes be paid multi-million dollar salaries?
Past Studies on WG
Previously published studies document Word
Generation’s positive effects on students’
reading comprehension, teacher practice and
language development for limited Englishproficiency students (Lawrence, Capotosto, BranumMartin, White, & Snow, 2011; Snow, Lawrence, White, 2009).
Research Design
• In 2010, 13 inner-city middle schools in San
Francisco (6,800 students) participated in an
experimental study of the Word Generation
program.
• Program impact on vocabulary and reading
comprehension was measured by pre and post
assessments
– Also including scientific literacy and engagement
items
Curriculum Material
Word Generation Material
Science
Thought experiments to
promote discussion and
scientific reasoning
Social
Studies
Developing positions on the
issue set out In the passage,
to help the class frame the
debate
English / Language
Writing Arts
/ Taking a Stand
Give evidence to support your position
Math
Sample of Student Notebooks
Sample
of Student Notebooks
Student A
Student 1
Student B
Funding Opportunities
Organization
Description
Budget amount
Spencer Grant
Spencer is interested in
studies that lead to better
understanding and
improvements in the
intellectual, material, and
organizational resources
that contribute to successful
teaching and learning
$ 40,000 +
IES
Researcher-Practitioner
Partnerships in Education
Research
Identify an education issue
with important implications
for improving student
achievement that is of high
priority for the education
agency
Theory of Action
Theory of Action
4
3
2
1
CO
WG
ELA
CO
WG
Math
CO
WG
Science
CO
WG
Social Studies
In 213 observations, teachers in Word Generation (WG) schools reported
more discussion in comparison to control schools (CO).
Learn More..
• http://www.serpinstitute.org
• http://wordgeneration.org
Contact:
• Professor Joshua Lawrence (jflawren@uci.edu)
• Professor Raul Lejano (lejano@uci.edu)
• Doctoral Student Alex Lin (alin13@uci.edu)
Works Cited
•
Clark, F. & Illman, D.L. (2001). Dimensions of civic science: Introductory essay. Science Communications, 23 (1), 5-27.
•
Kim, C. & Fortner, R.W. (2006). Issue-specific barriers to addressing environmental issues in the classroom: An exploratory
study. The Journal of Environmental Education, 37 (3), 15-22.
•
Lawrence, J.F., Capotosto, L., Branum-Martin, L., White, C. & Snow, C.E. (in press). Language proficiency, home-language
status, and English vocabulary development. A longitudinal follow-up of the Word Generation program. Bilingualism:
Language and Cognition, 1 (1), 1-15.
•
National Science Board (2000). Communicating science and technology in the public interest (NSB-00-99). Arlington, VA:
National Science Foundation [online]. Available: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/documents/2000/nsb0099/nsb009.htm
•
National Assessment of Educational Progress (2009). The nation’s report card: Science 2009 national assessment of
educational progress at grades 4, 8 and 12. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
•
Sadler, T.D. (2004). Informal reasoning regarding socioscientific issues: A critical review of research. Journal of Research in
Science Teaching, (41) 5, 513-536.
•
Sadler, T.D., Chambers, F.W., & Zeidler, D.L. (2004). Student conceptualization of the nature of science in response to a
socioscientific issue. International Journal of Science Education, (26) 4, 387-409.
•
Snow, C. E., Lawrence, J. F., & White, C. (2009). Generating knowledge of academic language among urban middle school
students. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 2 (4), 325–344.
•
Zohar, A. & Nemet, F. (2002). Fostering students’ knowledge and argumentation skills through dilemmas in human genetics.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, (39) 1, 35-62.

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