Science is often a forgotten subject in early elementary grades as various mandates require teachers to focus on teaching young students to achieve specific reading and mathematical competencies. This book offers specific examples and empirical evidence of how integrated science-literacy curriculum and teaching in urban primary-grade classrooms give students opportunities to learn science and to develop positive images of themselves as scientists. The Integrated Science-Literacy Enactments (ISLE) approach builds on multimodal, multidimensional, and dialogically oriented teaching and learning principles. Readers see how, as children engage with texts, material objects, dialogue, ideas, and symbols in their classroom community, they are helped to bridge their own understandings and ways with words and images with those of science. In doing so, they become learners of both science and literacy. The book features both researcher and teacher perspectives. It explores science learning and its intersection with literacy development in schools that educate predominately children of color, many of whom struggle with poverty and have been traditionally underestimated, underserved, and underrated in science classrooms. In all these ways, this volume is a significant contribution to a critically under-researched area of science education.
Maria Varelas is Professor of Science Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Chicago. Christine C. Pappas is Professor Emerita of Literacy and Language Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Chicago.