“Science Learning and Teaching as Intercultural Work”
Presented By: Ann Rosebery and Beth Warren, Co-Directors of Cheche Konnen Center, TERC.
Monday, November 7, 2011 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Abstract: In this talk we will consider science learning and teaching as intercultural processes taking place at powered boundaries of race, culture, language and subject matter. We analyze the ways in which participants in a professional learning community – teachers and researchers – came to understand the experience of an African American male student in a 7th grade biology lesson focused on classifying phenomena into living and non-living groups. Through their close analysis of a transcript of the classroom event, the participants developed a layered interpretation of the event that a) made visible some of the subtle ways in which subject matter, student sense-making and settled expectations regarding race, culture and language interacted to shape moment-to-moment teaching and learning, b) complicated their view of the scientific subject matter, and c) inspired new forms of pedagogical imagining aimed at disrupting historically structured inequalities in the science classroom.
Ann S. Rosebery (co-Director): Dr. Rosebery’s research focuses on improving science learning and teaching for children from communities historically placed at risk in our society. A central goal of this work has been to document and characterize the range of intellectual resources that these children bring to the study of science. Currently, she is collaborating with teacher researchers and Chèche Konnen staff to develop innovative pedagogical practices that enable all children to understand and use diverse sense-making resources to learn and to do science. Dr. Rosebery was a middle school teacher for eight years.
Beth Warren (co-Director): Dr. Warren’s research integrates four strands of inquiry: a) documentation of the wide-ranging sense-making repertoires of students from historically non-dominant communities, b) analysis of generative intersections between these repertoires and those used routinely in the everyday work of academic disciplines, c) exploration and development of classroom practices that build on heterogeneity as a first principle of design for expansive learning, and d) exploration and development of learning-in-practice as an approach to professional development, which integrates investigations of subject matter, student sense-making, and historically structured inequalities on the same plane of professional inquiry.