Inquiry Science in Bilingual Classrooms
This research was designed to determine the value of implementing a hands-on, inquiry science curriculum in classrooms where elementary children are developing second language skills along with their first language skills. The children were taught by interns from the University of Texas at El Paso in three elementary schools in the El Paso area. Half the instruction was in Spanish and half in English. The interns and in-service teachers provided evidence of the children's concept development. The elementary students provided data via an attitude survey and written assessments from 107 fifth graders. The consistency of the data indicates that there was a strong positive feeling about the value of this inquiry approach for increasing the children's language skills in both languages, that new science concepts were understood, and there was very little difference between children who chose Spanish or those who chose English to respond. The results of this research illustrate the value of a hands-on inquiry science program in a bilingual community.