ABSTRACT

Our constantly changing public elementary and secondary science classrooms provide both opportunities and challenges for providing authentic, relevant, and responsive science education for all students. Recent calls for science education reform with greater foci on discourse and practices (National Research Council, 2012) occur at a time of increasing cultural and linguistic diversification of our public schools. Taken together, the confluence of these two factors challenges researchers to investigate how major science education reform impacts the science learning of the growing population of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the methodological decisions made while planning and implementing a research study investigating a reform-based science curriculum intervention in an English/Spanish dual language middle school science classroom. I will first situate the study in its contemporary importance, then describe various phases of the research study in depth, and finally discuss results and implications of the study related to bilingual education, science education, and ethnography of education.