A New Paradigm for STEM Learning and Identity in English Language Learners: Science Translation as Interdisciplinary, Multi-Modal Inquiry

Amy Germuth, Claire Simpson, Claudia Walker, Dr. Patricia Gray, Jessica MacNair, Nancy van Duin, Sarah Sowa



This two-year case study examined multi-modal, interdisciplinary approaches to engage both immigrant English Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learners (ELL) in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning and to build STEM identity and self-efficacy. Leveraging innate abilities, multiple intelligences, and self-identified interests, children in Grades 3 through 8, new to America and STEM, became inquiry-based researchers of sound-making, soundscapes, and nonverbal communication systems in diverse species including human music-making using technology, analysis, communication research, and observation skills. Using generative and lateral thinking methodology for science translation, interdisciplinary methods, and team-based learning, the students demonstrated increased STEM interest, STEM learning, and STEM skill sets while developing self-efficacy as STEM learners and communicators.

Key Words: science education, immigrant, English Language Learners (ELL), multi-modal learning, interdisciplinary, learner-centered, knowledge translation.



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