Center Events: Speaker Series
Beth Warren and Ann S. Rosebery
(Chèche Konnen Center)
“What do you think Keenan means?” : Exploring Possible Meanings of
Explicitness in the Science Classroom
February 5, 2004
(left) and Ann S. Rosebery(right)'s
Beth Warren is co-director of the Chèche Konnen Center. For the past 13
years, in collaboration with teachers and researchers at the Center, Dr.
Warren has explored and documented the rich sense-making resources that
children from ethnically and linguistically diverse communities bring to the
study of science. She has also collaborated on the design, development and
study of an approach to teacher research that integrates teacher inquiry in
science with inquiry into children’s ideas and ways with words.
Ann S. Rosebery is co-Director of the Chèche Konnen Center. Her research
focuses on improving science learning and teaching for children from
ethnically and linguistically diverse communities. 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.
Additional information about Ann and Beth's
work can be found at: http://projects.terc.edu/cheche_konnen
Abstract of presentation
Ever since the publication of Delpit’s
(1986) article, Skills and Other Dilemmas of a Progressive Black Educator,
the merits of progressive approaches to education, of which inquiry-based
science is one, have been the subject of heated debate. The heart of
Delpit’s argument is that progressive approaches, in their emphasis on
meaningful and guided immersion, actually hide a good deal of what is to be
learned, in particular, the norms, forms, and functions of argumentation,
explanation, interpretation, and representation characteristic of academic
Discourses. This emphasis, in turn, works to the disadvantage of children
from historically underrepresented groups. Delpit and others have argued for
the need for an explicit instructional focus on the forms of language and
thinking that characterize the “culture of power,” i.e., the ways of
talking, writing, and interacting that underlie participation and success in
school and in the workplace.
The debate spawned by Delpit’s work is
often framed in dichotomous terms: constructivist vs. explicit, direct
instruction. In our current research, we are investigating a different way
of framing this debate. In collaboration with teacher researchers in the
Boston and Cambridge, MA schools, we are investigating on the theoretical
side what “being explicit” means, and on the practical side, when, how, and
about what to be explicit in the science classroom. To address these
questions, we have been exploring new pedagogical practices that engage
children in taking up their own ideas and ways with words -- as well as
those of scientific disciplines -- as an explicit theme of discussion and
inquiry. In our talk, we will share what we are learning as well as emerging
questions and dilemmas using videotapes and transcripts from a combined
1st-2nd grade classroom and from our teacher research seminar.
Rosebery, A. (in press). ?What are we
going to do next?? A case study of lesson planning.[MS Word] In R.
Nemirovsky, A. Rosebery, B. Warren, B., and J. Solomon, (Eds), Everyday
Matters in Mathematics and Science: Studies of Complex Classroom Events.
Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Warren, B., Ogonowski, M. and Pothier,
S. (in press). ?Everyday? and ?Scientific?: Re-thinking Dichotomies in
Modes of Thinking in Science Learning.[MS Word] In R. Nemirovsky, A.
Rosebery, J. Solomon, and B. Warren, (Eds.), Everyday Matters in
Mathematics and Science: Studies of Complex Classroom Events. Mahwah,
Warren, B., Ballenger, C., Ogonowski,
M., Rosebery, A. and Hudicourt-Barnes, J. (2001). Rethinking diversity
in learning science: The logic of everyday sensemaking. [pdf] Journal of
Research in Science Teaching, 38, 529-552.