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Book part
Publication date: 30 August 2014

Myae Han, Nancy Edwards and Carol Vukelich

The purpose of this chapter is to suggest ways for early childhood teachers to teach science content knowledge, vocabulary, respect, and an appreciation for nature while…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to suggest ways for early childhood teachers to teach science content knowledge, vocabulary, respect, and an appreciation for nature while children engage in meaningful outdoor nature activities. Science concepts such as nature, life cycle, observation, and experimentation can be woven into outdoor activities as children pretend to be nature scientists. Intentional planning provides teachers with the opportunity to integrate science content knowledge and vocabulary learning during the nature study. The careful selection of content vocabulary related to the scientific process and science content knowledge helps children learn new words in meaningful and developmentally appropriate ways. This chapter provides several examples of outdoor nature activities with science content knowledge and vocabulary embedded into each activity.

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Learning Across the Early Childhood Curriculum
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-700-9

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2013

Elizabeth Anderson and Nicole Fenty

From John Dewey to Herbert Kohl, many theorists and practitioners have explored the use of a developmentalist model as a way to harness the natural instincts and interests…

Abstract

From John Dewey to Herbert Kohl, many theorists and practitioners have explored the use of a developmentalist model as a way to harness the natural instincts and interests of young children to foster meaningful learning. Yet, the concept of meaningful learning in early childhood education today is quickly shifting away from the developmentalist model and its emphasis on authentic learning, toward a social-efficiency model that emphasizes the use of state curriculum standards, standardized assessments, and evidence-based instructional approaches. As the early childhood curriculum pendulum swings, early childhood programs find themselves at risk for becoming more “business like” and less representative of the kind of reflective and risk-taking environments Dewey envisioned leaving educators struggling to use child-centered practices in an era of increased accountability. Considering some of the significant challenges facing early childhood programs and educators, it is critically important for the field of early childhood to begin examining the ways in which the curriculum and instructional procedures being utilized may, or may not, be illustrative of Dewey’s vision of active, dynamic, and integrated early learning experiences and, to what degree. One way to promote meaningful instructional integration is to consider the natural connections that exist across content areas. A logical beginning is to use literacy as an anchor for meaningful learning across the preschool curriculum. In this chapter the authors engage in a review of the literature as it relates to the integration of early literacy and content curriculum and discuss implications for future practice.

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Learning Across the Early Childhood Curriculum
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-700-9

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2009

C. Kenneth Tanner

The purpose of this study is to compare student achievement with three school design classifications: movement and circulation, day lighting, and views.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare student achievement with three school design classifications: movement and circulation, day lighting, and views.

Design/methodology/approach

From a sample of 71 schools, measures of these three school designs, taken with a ten‐point Likert scale, are compared to students' outcomes defined by six parts of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS): Reading comprehension, Reading vocabulary, Language arts, Mathematics, Social studies, and Science. Data are tested through reduced regression analysis, where the difference between R2 of the reduced regression is compared to the R2 of the full regression. This result, in each case, is defined as the effect of the school's physical environment on students' outcomes represented by achievement scores on the ITBS.

Findings

Significant effects are found for Reading vocabulary, Reading comprehension, Language arts, Mathematics, and Science.

Practical implications

The study's findings regarding movement and circulation patterns, natural light, and classrooms with views have implications for designing new schools or modifying existing structures. They are especially important to school leaders, educational planners, and architects who engage in programming for educational facilities.

Originality/value

This study is part of original research efforts at the University of Georgia, USA. Since 1997, the focus of research in the University of Georgia's School Design and Planning Laboratory (SDPL) has been the measurement of the impact of the school's physical environment on aspects of affective, behavioral, and cognitive learning. All SDPL research has been quantitative in nature, where measures of the physical environment were compared to measures of student outcomes. There are two immediate values to these studies: educational leaders may use the findings to assess their existing school facilities and determine where improvements will have the greatest impact, or planners may use the findings to guide architects in the design and construction of new educational facilities.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 47 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2013

Soo-Young Hong, Julia Torquati and Victoria J. Molfese

The importance of early and developmentally appropriate science education is increasingly recognized. Consequently, creation of common guidelines and standards in early…

Abstract

The importance of early and developmentally appropriate science education is increasingly recognized. Consequently, creation of common guidelines and standards in early childhood science education has begun (National Research Council (NRC), 2012), and researchers, practitioners, and policy makers have shown great interest in aligning professional development with the new guidelines and standards. There are some important issues that need to be addressed in order to successfully implement guidelines and make progress toward accomplishing standards. Early childhood teachers have expressed a lack of confidence in teaching science and nature (Torquati, Cutler, Gilkerson, & Sarver, in press) and have limited science and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) (Appleton, 2008). These are critical issues because teachers’ subject-matter knowledge is a robust predictor of student learning outcomes (Enfield & Rogers, 2009; Kennedy, 1998; Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2002) and is seen as a critical step toward improving K-12 student achievement (National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century (NCMST), 2000; NRC, 2000). We argue that the same is true of preschool teachers.

This chapter discusses: (a) theories and practices in early childhood science education (i.e., preschool through 3rd grade) in relation to teaching for conceptual change, (b) research on methods of professional development in early childhood science education, and (c) innovative approaches to integrating scientific practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas with early childhood professional development.

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Learning Across the Early Childhood Curriculum
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-700-9

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

H. Emily Hayden

Purpose – This chapter explores the work of one expert seventh-grade science teacher, Ann, as she used the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) to develop students…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter explores the work of one expert seventh-grade science teacher, Ann, as she used the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) to develop students’ knowledge and use of science language and conceptual knowledge. Ann’s use of scaffolds such as thoughtful definition, classroom discussion, and writing frameworks is explored, as well as her methods of incorporating language into science inquiry, and the evidence she gathered as proof of learning. Her instructional decision-making and specific instructional actions are analyzed to describe the ways she gradually guided students from heavily scaffolded learning opportunities, through guided practice with extensive modeling, and ultimately to independent and accurate use of science language and conceptual knowledge in spoken and written discourse.

Design/methodology/approach – In a researcher/teacher partnership modeled on the practice embedded educational research (PEER) framework (Snow, 2015) the author worked with Ann over four school years, collecting data that included interviews, Ann’s teaching journal, student artifacts, and vocabulary pre/post-assessments. The initial task of the partnership was review of science standards and curricular documents and analysis of disciplinary language in seventh-grade science in order to construct a classroom science vocabulary assessment that incorporated a scaffolded format to build incremental knowledge of science words. Results of 126 students’ pre/post scores on the vocabulary assessment were analyzed using quantitative methods, and interviews and the teaching journal were analyzed using qualitative techniques. Student artifacts support and triangulate the quantitative and qualitative analyses.

Findings – Analysis of students’ pre/post-scores on the vocabulary assessment supported the incremental nature of vocabulary learning and the value of a scaffolded assessment. Improvement in ability to choose a one-word definition and choose a sentence-length definition had significant and positive effect on students’ ability to write a sentence using a focus science word correctly to demonstrate science conceptual knowledge. Female students performed just as well as male students: a finding that differs from other vocabulary intervention research. Additionally, Ann’s use of scaffolded, collaborative methods during classroom discussion and writing led to improved student knowledge of science language and the concepts it labels, as evident in students’ responses during discussion and their writing in science inquiry reports and science journals.

Research limitations – These data were collected from students in one science teacher’s classroom, limiting generalization. However, the expertise of this teacher renders her judgments useful to other teachers and teacher trainers, despite the limited context of this research.

Practical implicationsScience knowledge is enhanced when language and science inquiry coexist, but the language of science often presents a barrier to learning science, and there are significant student achievement gaps in science learning across race, ethnicity, and gender. Researchers have described ways to make explicit connections between science language, concepts, and knowledge, transcending the gaps and leveling the playing field for all students. Analysis of Ann’s teaching practice, drawn from four years of teacher and student data, provides specific and practical ways of doing this in a real science classroom. Scaffolding, modeling, and co-construction of learning are key.

Originality/value of paper – This chapter details the methods one expert teacher used to make her own learning the object of inquiry, simultaneously developing the insights and the strategies she needed to mentor students. It describes how Ann infused the GRR into planning and instruction to create learning experiences that insured student success, even if only at incremental levels. Ann’s methods can thus become a model for other teachers who wish to enhance their students’ learning of science language and concepts through infusion of literacy activity.

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The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1967

R. MOSS

Words have no precision, though in information storage and retrieval we are required to act as if they did. We have, therefore, to impose certain arbitrary conditions to…

Abstract

Words have no precision, though in information storage and retrieval we are required to act as if they did. We have, therefore, to impose certain arbitrary conditions to reduce the element of personal interpretation. ‘Meaning’ must be removed from the indexing stage to that of vocabulary construction. Vocabularies can be reduced to a minimum, first to a core of terms used in a specialist science, and, following Russell, ultimately to undefined terms symbolic of sense experience. ‘Basic English’ has shown similar minimizing to be feasible for a natural language. The success of Batten cards shows that the principle could be equally applicable to specialist indexing vocabularies.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Alice Driver, Katherine Elliott and Andrew Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to describe how a learning study model, guided by variation theory, can be used to improve lesson design and a pupil’s understanding of key…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how a learning study model, guided by variation theory, can be used to improve lesson design and a pupil’s understanding of key words and vocabulary in the context of three different subjects, namely art, dance and science.

Design/methodology/approach

Three lesson designs were used with three groups of pupils from the same year group. In each case, pupils were given either visual or audio stimuli to describe and compare prior to being introduced to the keywords. Pupil interviews, observations and pre- and post-lesson tasks were used in each case to assess the success of the strategy and the impact it had on the understanding of different ability-level students. The results from each lesson were analysed and utilised to improve the design of the subsequent lesson.

Findings

The results of the study found that this approach was successful, with pupils able to produce their own definitions, including a reference to relevant critical features following the lesson, and that in most cases this information was retained. The strategy was most effective at reinforcing concepts and vocabulary, and was preferred by low- and mid-ability pupils, whereas higher-ability pupils preferred to use specific terminology from the outset.

Originality/value

Many published learning studies have been carried out within subjects, concentrating on a particular learning object that pupils have difficulty with. In this study the authors have demonstrated that this approach can also be employed as a successful approach to promote pupil learning across different subjects.

Details

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-8253

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1981

Betty Unruh

The types and numbers of database user support materials are multiplying as producers become more involved in the servicing of the user community and as the number of…

Abstract

The types and numbers of database user support materials are multiplying as producers become more involved in the servicing of the user community and as the number of online databases grows. (Approximately 100 files are available now for online searching, and each month brings a few more on each of the systems.) Currently available materials can vary in cost, format, depth, and purpose. This paper is an assessment of the available materials, offering comments on both availability and cost as well as the relationship, if any, between the search materials and the topic area of the file or the organizational type of the producer. This paper does not attempt to evaluate content or measure quality; it discusses vendor‐produced materials only when a contrast between the two groups would be helpful.

Details

Online Review, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

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Book part
Publication date: 3 February 2015

Cecilia Silva, Molly Weinburgh and Kathy Horak Smith

In a university/district collaboration, three college professors and authors of this chapter co-taught with four teachers over a period of seven years. This study explores…

Abstract

In a university/district collaboration, three college professors and authors of this chapter co-taught with four teachers over a period of seven years. This study explores the perceived changes in thought and practice of both groups as a result of providing three-week summer school programs for fifth and eighth grade emergent bilinguals. This research is grounded in qualitative methodologies of self-study and case study. We present our joint story as a self-study. Data were collected in the form of lesson plan notes, yearly journals, personal notes, audiotapes of meetings, and in-depth interviews/discussions of those involved in the bounded context. Resulting themes were situated meaning, hybrid language, and a 5R Instructional Model. A case study design is used to present the data from the four in-service teachers. Data were collected from field notes and interviews. Several themes emerged from the teacher data, all of which are components of situated meaning: professional development as side-by-side teaching and learning, recognition of and interest in curriculum integration, and change in classroom practice. Findings indicate that the summer program was a meaningful avenue for professional development (PD) for both groups. However, within group similarities were stronger than across group. The experience changed the way we teach and how we develop PD for teachers. The implications for professors and K-12 teachers are discussed and suggestions for further study and PD are given.

Details

Research on Preparing Inservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-494-8

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Manjula Wijewickrema, Vivien Petras and Naomal Dias

The purpose of this paper is to develop a journal recommender system, which compares the content similarities between a manuscript and the existing journal articles in two…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a journal recommender system, which compares the content similarities between a manuscript and the existing journal articles in two subject corpora (covering the social sciences and medicine). The study examines the appropriateness of three text similarity measures and the impact of numerous aspects of corpus documents on system performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Implemented three similarity measures one at a time on a journal recommender system with two separate journal corpora. Two distinct samples of test abstracts were classified and evaluated based on the normalized discounted cumulative gain.

Findings

The BM25 similarity measure outperforms both the cosine and unigram language similarity measures overall. The unigram language measure shows the lowest performance. The performance results are significantly different between each pair of similarity measures, while the BM25 and cosine similarity measures are moderately correlated. The cosine similarity achieves better performance for subjects with higher density of technical vocabulary and shorter corpus documents. Moreover, increasing the number of corpus journals in the domain of social sciences achieved better performance for cosine similarity and BM25.

Originality/value

This is the first work related to comparing the suitability of a number of string-based similarity measures with distinct corpora for journal recommender systems.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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