CAREER: Shared Scientific Sense-Making and Bilingual Student Advancement in Science: Linking Family and School Learning Through Informal Learning Research

March 10th, 2002 - February 28th, 2009 | PROJECT

This CAREER grant interweaves research and teaching focused on understanding how social groups construct meaning during scientific conversations across different learning contexts, such as classrooms, museums and the home. This work will be translated into formal educational settings and used to inform teaching practices within pre-service University and in-service school district settings. The research and educational emphasis will be on creating conceptual links between social learning in diverse settings and the creation of corridors of opportunity between formal and informal learning institutions. To date there has been little research with families from cultural and linguistic minority populations, such as Latino families, at informal learning settings and virtually none that integrates formal and informal learning, or impacts teaching. The five-year project will: 1. Conduct Study 1, aimed at making fundamental cross-cultural comparisons of family conversational meaning making at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and linking this work with family interviews, reflective conversations and visits to family homes; 2. Review the theoretical framework and conduct Study 2, which will incorporate lessons learned from Study 1, and linking this research to formal classrooms; and 3. Use the findings (at each stage) to inform teaching practice with UCSC undergraduate (Science majors) and graduate (Science credential, MA and Ph.D.) students, and, in collaboration with teacher research groups for new and experienced teacher in schools that serve predominantly Latino students. This research plan provides an opportunity for viewing several inter-connected mechanisms, including family interactions and conversations, compelling science content, naturalistic learning in museum settings, and, finally, analyzing these factors in order to inform teaching practices that promote bilingual minority students to the rank of scientists.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Doris Ash, Principal Investigator, University of California-Santa Cruz


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0133662
Funding Amount: 663877


Access and Inclusion: English Language Learners | Ethnic | Racial | Hispanic | Latinx Communities
Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | Families | Undergraduate | Graduate Students
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Higher Education Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops