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Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010027

Assessing Conceptual Understanding via Literacy-Infused, Inquiry-Based Science among Middle School English Learners and Economically-Challenged Students

1
Center for Research and Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition, College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
2
Professor Emerita, School of Education, , Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 20 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science Education)
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Abstract

The overarching purpose of our study was to compare performances of treatment and control condition students who completed a literacy-infused, inquiry-based science intervention through sixth grade as measured by a big idea assessment tool which we refer to as the Big Ideas in Science Assessment (BISA). First, we determine the concurrent validity of the BISA; second, we investigate the differences in the post-test of the BISA between treatment and control English Learners (ELs), controlling for their performance in the pre-test; third, we analyze the differences in the post-test of the BISA between treatment and control non-ELs, controlling for their performance in the pre-test; and fourth, we examine the relationship between students’ English language proficiency as measured by standardized assessment, and their performance in the BISA among ELs and non-ELs, respectively. Our findings indicate: (a) literacy-infused science lessons with big ideas, implemented through the tested intervention, improved students’ language acquisition and science concept understanding for ELs and economically challenged students (ECs); (b) there was a positive relationship between language and content for both ELs and non-ELs, with a similar magnitude, suggesting that students with a higher level of English proficiency score higher in science assessment; and (c) the lesson plans prepared were successful for promoting a literacy-infused science curriculum via a 5E Model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate) that includes three to five of the Es used daily. A pedagogical approach for a literacy-infused science model with big ideas is proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: literacy-infused science; big ideas; assessment; English language learners; economically challenged students; lower middle school literacy-infused science; big ideas; assessment; English language learners; economically challenged students; lower middle school
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Lara-Alecio, R.; Irby, B.J.; Tong, F.; Guerrero, C.; Koch, J.; Sutton-Jones, K.L. Assessing Conceptual Understanding via Literacy-Infused, Inquiry-Based Science among Middle School English Learners and Economically-Challenged Students. Educ. Sci. 2018, 8, 27.

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