Linking Science, Math and Literacy for All Learners

  • Project Description

    The Linking Science, Mathematics and Literacy for All Learners Program (LSM&L4AL) partners university educators/researchers and students with teachers of 6th-8th grade science, mathematics, English language arts, and special education. It builds upon a NIGMS SEPA Program (8R25GM129228) whose current research with innovative educational resources and professional development indicates that linking science and literacy instruction can significantly improve diverse learners’ claim-evidence-reasoning (CER) and scientific argumentation practices shared by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Notably, students with disabilities (SWDs) who have individualized education plans (IEPs) start with lower levels but make greater gains in CER and argumentation following the innovative educational interventions. This data supports the hypothesis that for many diverse learners, the proposed new educational resources linking science and math and language learning will synergize and more strongly support CER and argumentation. Our aims are:

    Aim 1: With partner teachers, develop 6th- to 8th-grade-level STEM multimodal text sets that address NGSS, CCSS-ELA.RST and CCSS-Math Standards, with embedded math and research-generated data.

    Aim 2: Provide instructional support to teachers using STEM multimodal text sets, with special attention to the needs of diverse learners in new locations and with new populations.

    Aim 3: Rigorously evaluate i) teachers’ use of the STEM multimodal text sets; ii) the accompanying teacher instructional support; and iii) change in students’ achievement of Science-ELA-Math practices.

    Aim 4: Disseminate widely the STEM multimodal text sets, teachers’ instructional practices, and research results.

  • Abstract

    The proposed program will provide innovative educational resources to help redress significant nationwide deficits in science, mathematics, and literacy learning, especially for grades 6-8 students with disabilities (SWD). These new resources will improve and extend the: 1) multimodal STEM text sets: 2) virtual teacher professional development – communities of practice (vPD-CoP); and 3) scenario-based assessments (SBAs) of scientific argumentation developed by the current NIGMS/SEPA Linking Science and Literacy for All Learners program, and that have garnered state and national recognition. Multimodal STEM text sets (1) are coherent collections of content and instructional resources pertaining to an anchor phenomenon and line of inquiry that support learners’: a) Engagement with a grade-band level complex anchor text; b) Development of the science and disciplinary literacy skills called for by the shared Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or state equivalents. The vPD-CoPs (2) help teachers, learn about, develop, and implement multimodal STEM text sets for their diverse grade 6-8 learners. The SBAs (3) provide quantitative data about the instructional interventions, and help teachers understand scientific argumentation practices and include them in their instruction. Preliminary evidence supports the hypothesis that appropriate instructional support with multimodal STEM text sets, helps diverse students (particularly SWDs) engage with grade-band level complex anchor texts and improve scientific argumentation skills that can be measured with SBAs. The proposed program will add mathematics and research-generated data to all the program resources, and the effects will be rigorously tested over five years with quantitative data from thousands of diverse students nationwide, and with qualitative data of instructional implementation by teachers of science, mathematics, English language arts and special education in diverse school settings, nationwide. These resources and the research data will be disseminated widely by the program website, in high profile journals, in books and reports, and at regional and national meetings, to have a lasting impact upon inclusive and effective education for diverse students’ participation in the biomedical workforce and contributions to society. The program faculty and consultants are experienced educator/researchers in science, literacy, mathematics and special education with a strong independent evaluation team and institutional support.

  • Dissemination Strategies

    Resources and findings are disseminated via: (1) school partnerships, organizations (local and nationally), and social media events, (2) publications and presentations at conferences, and (3) our website.

Project Audience

Middle school English, science, mathematics and special education teachers along with learners in their classrooms.

Subjects Addressed

Life sciences, English, mathematics, argumentation (claim-evidence-reasoning)