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Interviews with Participants

Exploring Science and English Language Development: Implications for Teacher Professional Learning

A conference hosted by the Institute for Inquiry at the Exploratorium

Interviews with Participants

The following interviews are focused on issues central to the development of language in the context of science. Four conference participants from different areas of expertise were interviewed in order to capture a range of perspectives from the disciplines of elementary classroom instruction, university-based teacher education, learning sciences research, and teacher professional learning.

Why Science is a Good Context for English Language Development

Why Science is a Good Context for English Language Development (10:17)

What opportunities for English language development are present in inquiry-based science?
Jessie AugerKaren WorthChris Faltis

Perspectives on Inquiry and Language Acquisition

Perspectives on Inquiry and Language Acquisition (11:27)

What ways of conceptualizing science and language acquisition are critical to recognizing where they intersect?
Chris FaltisJessie AugerKris GutiérrezKaren Worth

Science Inquiry Learning

Science Inquiry Learning (3:55)

What differentiates inquiry from other forms of science instruction? Why do you consider it a valuable approach to science learning?
Karen WorthKris Gutiérrez

Professional Learning

Professional Learning (9:00)

What role can professional learning play in helping teachers nurture English language development in the context of science?
Kris GutiérrezJessie AugerKaren WorthChris Faltis

What Teachers Need

What Teachers Need (15:16)

What challenges do teachers face and what supports do they need before they can shift their classroom practice to further support English language development?
Kris GutiérrezJessie AugerChris FaltisKaren Worth

Issues of Equity & Values

Issues of Equity & Values (5:54)

How do you see issues of equity involved in science and English language development?
Jessie AugerKaren WorthChris Faltis

Jessie Auger

Jessie Auger

Bilingual Teacher, Rafael Hernández School, Boston Public Schools

Jessie Auger, a bilingual teacher in Boston Public Schools, has been an elementary classroom teacher for 24 years. Living in El Salvador and Puerto Rico and collaborating with teachers there for more than a decade helped to form her as an educator. Auger is an experienced teacher leader, mentor, and coach in the areas of literacy, math, project-based integrated curriculum design, and best practices with English Language Learners and bilingual education. She has provided professional development in the form of courses, workshops, and speaking engagements locally, nationally, and internationally. Her essay “Who Do We Hear? The Power of Language in the Mathematics Classroom” was included in the 2012 anthology Rethinking Elementary Education, and her article “The Author has the Last Word: Buddy Editing in a First Grade Classroom” was published in the Harvard Educational Review. In 2007, Auger was named Massachusetts Teacher of the Year.

Chris Faltis

Chris Faltis

Professor, Co-Director of Teacher Education, Dolly & David Fiddyment Chair in Teacher Education, University of California, Davis

Chris Faltis holds degrees from San Francisco State University, San José State University, and Stanford University, where he earned an MA and PhD. Prior to coming to UC Davis, he served on the faculties of Arizona State University and the Universities of Alabama and Nevada. Faltis was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the National Autonomous University of Honduras, and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley.

In 2001, he received the American Educational Research Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award. Faltis has worked with schools and school districts in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas to strengthen teaching and learning.

His work focuses on language diversity from critical hybridity theory to promote the creation of robust learning environments in which local language practices contribute to learning, interaction, and performance. Faltis is also an oil painter, whose work has been shown in Arizona, Georgia, and Texas and often addresses education themes.

Kris Gutiérrez

Kris Gutiérrez

Professor of Language, Literacy & Culture, University of California, Berkeley

Kris D. Gutiérrez is Professor of Language, Literacy and Culture. She was most recently a professor of Learning Sciences/Literacy and the Inaugural Provost’s Chair at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Professor Emerita of Social Research Methodology at GSE & IS at UCLA. Professor Gutiérrez is a national leader in education, with an emphasis in literacy, learning sciences, and interpretive and design-based approaches to inquiry. Gutiérrez is a member of the National Academy of Education and is the Past President of the American Educational Research Association and the National Conference on Research on Language and Literacy. Gutiérrez was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the National Board for the Institute of Education Sciences where she served as Vice Chair.

Her research examines learning in designed learning environments, with attention to students from non-dominant communities and English Learners. Her work on Third Spaces examines the affordances of hybrid and syncretic approaches to literacy, new media literacies, and STEM learning and the re-mediation of functional systems of learning. Her work in social design experiments seeks to leverage students’ everyday concepts and practices to ratchet up expansive forms of learning. Professor Gutiérrez's research has been published widely in premier academic journals and she is a co-author of Learning and Expanding with Activity Theory.

Karen Worth

Karen Worth

Chair, Elementary Education Department, Wheelock College

Karen Worth has been a faculty member at Wheelock College for over 35 years, where she teaches early childhood and elementary education with a focus on science education. She works closely with the Mathematics and Science Department to enhance the mathematics and science preparation of pre-service students at the college. She also coordinates the Integrated Elementary and Special Education program at the graduate level. She is currently Chair of the Elementary Department.

Ms. Worth also worked as a senior research scientist at Education Development Center, Inc. for more than 25 years leading a range of programs focused on science curriculum development, professional development, and systemic reform. She has been a consultant and advisor to a number of museums including the Boston Children’s Museum and the Chicago Children’s Museum. She has advised public television stations such as WGBH and PBH and community organizations across the country and internationally. She is a recipient of the Exploratorium’s Outstanding Educator Award for her work in science education, the international Purkwa prize for the scientific literacy of the children of the planet, and the NSTA Distinguished Service Award. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters and was the principal investigator in the development of The Young Scientist Series (Redleaf), Worms, Shadows and Whirlpools (Heinemann), Insights, An Elementary Hands-On Science Curriculum (Kendall Hunt), Science and Literacy: A Natural Fit, and The Essentials of Science Literacy (Heinemann.)