LEARNING TO "SEE" SOUND: AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE INTELLECTUAL AND LINGUISTIC RESOURCES THAT URBAN MIDDLE SCHOOL AFRICAN AMERICAN BOYS UTILIZE IN THE PRACTICE OF REPRESENTING SOUND TRANSMISSION.
Abstract: This research examines the intellectual and linguistic resources
that a group of African American boys brought to the study of the science of sound and the
practice of representation. By taking a resource-rich view of the boys' linguistic and
representational practices, my objective is to investigate children's abilities in
producing, using, critiquing, and modifying representations.... read moreSpecifically, this research
looks to explore and identify the varieties of resources that African American boys utilize
in developing scientific understanding. Using transcripts from group sessions, as well as
the drawings produced during these sessions, I utilized a combination of discourse analysis
to explore the boys' linguistic interactions during the critique of drawings with a focus
on the boys' manipulation of line segments in order to explore their representational
competencies. Analysis of the transcripts and the boys' drawings revealed several important
findings. First, elements of Signifying were instrumental in the group's collective
exploration of each other's drawings, and the ideas of sound transmission being represented
in the drawings. Thus, I found that the boys' use of Signifying was key to their engagement
win the practice of critique. Second, the boys' ideas regarding sound transmission were not
fixed, stable misconceptions that could be "fixed" through instruction. Instead, I believe
that their explanations and drawings were generated from a web of ideas regarding sound
transmission. Lastly, the boys exhibited a form of meta-representational competency that
included the production, modification, and manipulation of notations used to represent
sound transmission. Despite this competency, the negotiation process necessary in
constructing meaning of a drawing highlighted the complexities in developing a conventional
understanding or meaning for representations. Additional research is necessary for
exploring the intellectual and lingustic resources that children from communities of color
bring to the science classroom. The objective of this research was not to highlight a
single intellectal and linguistic resource that educators and educational researchers could
expect to witness when working with African American boys. Instead, the objective was to
highlight an approach to teaching and learning that investigated and highlighted the
resources that children from communities of color have developed within their communities
and from their varied life experiences that may be conducive to scientific exploration and
language. Recognizing that all children bring a variety of resources that can be utilized
and further developed in order to expand their understandings of scientific concepts or a
representational practices must be continually explored if we are to begin the process of
addressing inequitable access to science opportunities.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Education.
Advisor: Barbara Brizuela.
Committee: Ann Rosebery, Analucia Schliemann, and Chris Rogers.
Keyword: Science Education.read less