Cheche Konnen Center
Reconceptualizing Diversity in Science Education
For more than a decade, the Chèche Konnen Center at TERC has been researching and documenting the various ways in which children’s diverse ideas and ways of talking and knowing are intellectual strengths critical to the learning of science. The Center collaborates with teachers of bilingual students and more recently with teachers of students from a variety of economic, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds. The Center’s research and professional development program seeks to design and document pedagogical practices that enable teachers to develop new ways of seeing their students’ intellectual and linguistic strengths and new ways of seeing what counts as scientific.
In partnership with teachers, Center researchers have come to view scientific sense-making as encompassing a varied complex of intellectual strengths that students from underserved communities bring to the task of learning in the sciences. These strengths intersect with those characteristic of the sciences in many ways, including forms of argumentation, imagining, narrative and analogical reasoning. Center researchers have documented how teachers can expand the range of discourse practices that they recognize as relevant in the science classroom. The research has also shown that students in these teachers’ classrooms perform at high levels on tasks designed to tap their scientific understanding and reasoning as well as on conventional measures of achievement (e.g., items from state, national, and international assessments.) See "The Generative Potential of Students’ Everyday Knowledge in Learning Science" in Mathematics and Science Matters.
To lean more about the center and its program of work see http://chechekonnen.terc.edu or view the links under More Info.