Student Initiatives in Urban Elementary Science Classrooms

Scott Lewis, Okhee Lee, Alexandra Santau, Neporcha Cone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Student initiatives play an important role in inquiry-based science with all students, including English language learning (ELL) students. This study examined initiatives that elementary students made as they participated in an intervention to promote science learning and English language development over a three-year period. In addition, the study examined whether student initiatives were related to other domains of classroom practices. The study involved 70 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade classrooms with ELL students in six urban elementary schools. Results indicated that students generally made few, low-quality initiatives. Student initiatives were generally not related to the other domains of classroom practices for grades 3 and 4, whereas initiatives were significantly related to almost all the other domains for grade 5. These results contribute to the knowledge base for fostering ELL students' initiatives in science classrooms. (Contains 3 tables.)
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-172
Number of pages13
JournalSchool Science and Mathematics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Elementary School Science
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 3
  • English (Second Language)
  • Second Language Learning
  • Inquiry
  • Science Instruction
  • Teaching Methods
  • Elementary School Students
  • Intervention
  • Grade 4
  • Urban Schools
  • Age Differences
  • Student Role
  • Knowledge Base for Teaching
  • Low Income Groups
  • At Risk Students
  • Student Participation
  • Faculty Development
  • Minority Group Children
  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge


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