This is the fifth installment in GSTA's virtual PL series on elementary science and literacy. In this webinar Dr.’s Manz and Ward will present research on how science/engineering and literacy learning in elementary school are mutually supportive and explore strategies that connect science and literacy learning. The talk will unpack findings from a recent National Academies report, Science and Engineering in Preschool through Elementary Grades: The Brilliance of Children and the Strengths of Educators, focusing on the evidence that connecting literacy to science and engineering learning strengthens children’s learning in science, as well as their motivation for reading, their comprehension and vocabulary, and their writing. Dr. Manz and Dr. Ward will then share how they have implemented findings on interdisciplinary learning in their work to develop project-based units for kindergarten through second grade. Strategies discussed will include: investigating phenomena and design challenges that support children to develop complex texts, strategically pairing writing genres and science practices, and using mentor texts that build understanding of how scientists communicate and how readers comprehend texts, and choosing or developing texts for young learners to read.
Eve Manz is Associate Professor of Science Education at the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Her research focuses on understanding how to design and orchestrate learning environments that apprentice young students into science practices such as modeling, argumentation, and explanation. Manz works closely with elementary teachers and instructional leaders to develop new approaches to science teaching and learning that center student and teacher sense-making. Most recently, she has worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to develop and pilot Great First Eight, a full-day, assets-based, interdisciplinary curriculum for young children in metropolitan area. She is the recipient of the 2019 Early Career Research Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching and recently served on the National Academies of Science and Engineering Committee on Enhancing Science and Engineering in Prekindergarten Through Fifth Grades.
Alessandra E. Ward is an Assistant Professor of Education at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. Her work focuses on the reading motivation and engagement of young learners, particularly in contexts providing culturally responsive and sustaining literacy education. She also works on the development team for Great First Eight, a full-day, assets-based, interdisciplinary curriculum for young children in metropolitan areas. Prior to coming to Wheaton, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan. She is also a former classroom teacher, reading specialist, and literacy coach.
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