About the Center Events


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

Beth Warren (left) and Ann S. Rosebery(right)'s Bio

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.

Selected Readings

  • 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, NJ: Erlbaum.

  • 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.

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