Sunday, March 1, 2015

Response to Rudolph’s (2001) “Portraying Epistemology: School Science in Historical Context”

Megan McGinty

Rudolph (2001) “Portraying Epistemology: School Science in Historical Context"

“The point to be emphasized here is simply that there are no socially neutral images of science, all have inherent consequences of some kind or another." p.75

In this article Rudolph argues for the importance of not treating school science as a settled domain. He argues that curriculum designers’ ideas of what science is and what it is for are formed within a particular social and political context and thus shape the type of science presented in schools. To illustrate his point, Rudolph compares the science education visions of John Dewey and Joseph Schwab. While both saw scientific knowledge as fluid, Dewey advocated that “the method of scientific reasoning” be instilled in the public at large, while Schwab stated that science was best practiced by experts and that the role of school was to give citizenry the faith to support scientific endeavors, even in the face of uncertain outcomes. What matters in this juxtaposition is not whether one agrees with Schwab’s or Dewey’s views, but the ramifications that each philosophy carries once it is put into practice. In Rudolph’s words: “For the individual student, the relocation of epistemic authority from process to the professional community of scientists had a decidedly disempowering effect. Rather than seeing science as an intellectual resource or tool anyone might use for their personal, social, or even political benefit as Dewey advocated, students, according to Schwab, were to learn enough about science to appreciate its legitimacy, but also its inherent complexity, a complexity that placed it beyond the intellectual grasp of the lay public. This lesson, properly learned, would result in public deference to the authority of an expert class—an outcome Dewey had worked to guard against throughout his career (Westhoff, 1995).” p.74

My initial gut reaction to this paper is to side with the Dewey-inspired populist notion that science is for all, and that if people understand the myriad ways in which science works and is interpreted, we will have the appropriate level of criticism and faith in scientific endeavors. That said, I’m not entirely convinced that Rudolph gave Schwab’s view full merit. While the “disempowering effect” of “the relocation of epistemic authority” is pointed out, the downside of Dewey’s vision of science as a decontextualized habit of mind is not played out as fully the Schwab-ian scenario exemplified in the quote above.

Is Dewey’s idea of science too simplistic or too amorphous? My charge to the upcoming class discussion is to flesh out Schwab’s argument in a manner that demonstrates faith in the intellectual capacity and judgment of the public at large. Engaging in this discussion may well bring us right back to Rudolph’s original points about the epistemology of science.

 Some quotes to consider in our discussion:

“In any portrayal of science—and most importantly in the portrayal of school science—at least two things should be considered: (1) what it is scientists actually do in the myriad research settings that exist, and (2) some vision of what the appropriate relationship should be between science and the public. It is this second factor, I would argue, that should provide the guiding framework for culling, reorganizing, and finally presenting the practices of science to students in the classroom.” p.75

“Deciding which among the often conflicting images of science to embrace in any given instance has real consequences, especially since such decisions are usually made in venues—legislative hearings, courts of law, medical consultations, etc.—where some other, perhaps momentous, decision hangs in the balance. The lasting effects of having one’s characterization of science accepted over one’s rivals, in addition to the immediate legitimacy such acceptance accords, include the allocation of prestige, and often financial resources, favorable government legislation, and the like. Inevitably benefits accrue to some and not to others based on how the boundaries of science are drawn.” p.67

NRC Framework, Chapter Three, Dimension #1: Science & Engineering Practices

Kristen Bergsman

NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education
Chapter Three: Dimension #1 Science & Engineering Practices

I recently witnessed a group of professional engineers react to the way that science and engineering practices are now being presented as part of a new visions for K-12 science classroomsAs part of a larger project, these engineers were tasked to work in collaboration with science teachers to design innovative science curriculum units that integrated engineering design challenges. As part of that challenge, the engineers were trained in the vision of the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the new Next Generation Science Standards. When it was explained that engineering and the engineering design process was now a requirement of science education, I felt a general sense of agreement from the group. As the training facilitators presented the Framework’s eight practices of science and engineering education, again I felt like the engineers were on board with the vision.

However, when the facilitators shared a table (Box 3-2, p. 50-53) from the NRC Framework—“Distinguishing Practices in Science from those in Engineering”—the energy in the room shifted. I felt a general sense of, wait, what? A large portion of my job as an engineer is doing these very practices that are labeled as scientific processes. I do science as an engineer. My job relies on science. Why is it helpful to differentiate these processes, and could this artificial division be harmful to students’ understanding of science and engineering?

Since that moment in a training that took place over a month ago, I’ve held on to the engineers’ questions of both the benefits and the potential harms (confusion, artificial boundaries, etc.) of the way that science and engineering content and practices are presented in the new vision for K-12 science education. That conversation drove me to want to dig deeper into the vision and practices put forth by the NRC Framework. A major goal of this new vision is to support “…a better understanding of how scientific knowledge is produced and engineering solutions are developed” (NRC Framework, p. 41) with an intentional focus on the production of knowledge, the processes of inquiry, and the direct applications to the real world. The practices are designed to present a peek into the authentic work of practicing scientists and engineers (NRC Framework, p. 42).

The Eight Practices of Science & Engineering
Chapter Three of the NRC Framework introduces the first of three dimensions of K-12 science education—a set of eight science and engineering practices. The practices are to be taught in synchronicity with the other two dimensions (cross-cutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas). Why? As stated in theFramework, “any education that focuses predominately on the detailed products of science labor—the facts of science—without developing an understanding of how those facts were established or ignores the many important applications of science in the world misrepresents science and marginalizes the importance of engineering” (NRC Framework, p. 43). These practices are listed below; in parenthesis I have provided the page numbers from the Framework where more detailed information is available. I have added underlining for emphasis.

Dimension #1: The Eight Practices of Science & Engineering
(Source: NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education)
  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering) (p. 54).
  2. Developing and using models (p. 56).
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations (p. 59).
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data (p. 61).
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking (p. 64).
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering) (p. 67).
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence (p. 71).
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. (p. 74)

Practices as Part of the “New” Vision for K-12 Science Education
What about these practices is innovative and different from the traditional presentation of science in K-12 classrooms? What makes this vision “new”? The NRC Framework presents the practices as a way to help students understand the work of professionals, the ways in which understandings develop, and the interplay between the fields of science and engineering; the practices “makes students’ knowledge more meaningful and embeds it more deeply into their worldview” (NRC Framework, p. 42). Practices are a way of ushering science from the abstract to the authentic.
The fact that engineering and engineering design are included in a vision for science education is in itself new…groundbreaking, even. The vision presented in the NRC Framework, and later included in the Next Generation Science Standards, elevates the teaching of engineering content and practices to the same level as the teaching of traditional natural sciences. The authors of the Framework, however, take great care to differentiate what is similar and what is different between engineering and science practices. They point out that the goals, drive, and argumentation practices of scientist and engineers, in particular, have clear differences (NRC Framework, p. 47-48). 
A key shift in K-12 science education called for by the Framework is for an acknowledgment that the holy grail of classroom science instruction—the Scientific Method—is in reality, gulp, a myth. A myth, the Framework reports, that is “perpetuated to this day by many textbooks” (NRC Framework, p. 78). The practices in this new vision show scientific inquiry and engineering design as an iterative, complex process that—as one model suggests—consists of interplay between practices of Investigation & Empirical Inquiry; Construction of Explanations or Designs; and Evaluation of Explanations & Designs (NRC Framework, p. 44).
The practices also highlight the importance of practices that have been “previously underemphasized” in science instruction—modeling, developing explanations, and argumentation (NRC Framework, p. 44). Critique, including the peer review process, is particularly stressed as a fundamental practice in both science and engineering.

1.     Critical Reflection or Important Point
The new vision outlined in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education, and taken up by the Next Generation Science Standards, calls for the death of the scientific method in science instruction. The Framework states, “the notion that there is a single, scientific method of observation, hypothesis, deduction, and conclusion—a myth perpetuated to this day by many textbooks—is fundamentally wrong” (NRC Framework, p. 78). In its place is the teaching of content, practices, and cross-cutting concepts. Given that current classroom teachers were educated in a time when the scientific method was the focus of K-12 science instruction, the implementation of the Framework’s vision and NGSS will require substantial professional development of in-service and pre-service teachers.

2.     One Substantive Discussion Question Brought Up by the Reading
Working in pairs (8 groups needed), choose one of the eight practices. Examine how your chosen practice is represented in Box 3-2 on pages 50-53 of the NRC Framework. What are the similarities, differences, and interplay between this practice among scientists and engineers? What are the benefits and risks to students’ understanding by denoting what is different between science and engineering?

Learning Sciences in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits

Maria Hays

National Research Council. (2009). Diversity and equity (Chapter 7). In Bell, P., Lewenstein, B., Shouse, A.W. & Feder, M.A. (Eds.), Learning science in informal environments: People, places, and pursuits (pp. 209-247). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

In Chapter Seven of Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, authors Phillip Bell, Bruce Lewenstein, Andrew W. Shouse, and Michael A. Feder, discuss the importance of creating informal science learning environments that engage and include learners from both dominant and non-dominant groups.  Some of the main points discussed include:
1.  Culture “includes the symbols, stories, rituals, tools, shared values, and norms of participation that people use to act, consider, communicate, assess, and understand both their daily lives and their image of the future” (p. 210).
2. Race and ethnicity are only two ways of identifying a person’s culture.  In this chapter, culture is also looked at through the lens of women, American Indians, disabled persons, and those growing up in both urban and rural America.
3.  Many in the scientific community assume science is acultural.  This is not true for two reasons.  First, science is its own culture; the language, ways of engaging, and ways of knowing are all unique to the culture of science.  Second, most science education is tailored to the cultural norms of the dominant sociocultural group (white, middle-class America). 
4.  Culture is not static.  While certain elements of culture may be static, culture is fundamentally a dynamic, social process. 
5.  Access does not equal equity.  In order to attain real equity in science education for nondominant groups, designers of science learning environments need to identify the cultural values and norms of their targeted audience and integrate those values and norms into their exhibits.
6.  All learning—including science learning—is a cultured activity and learning occurs best when students can connect what they are learning to their cultural funds of knowledge.

This chapter also includes research on how learners from four different nondominant groups (women, American Indians, the disabled, and learners from urban or rural settings) engage or disengage, in science.  These studies show that, for powerful science learning to take place, learners must:
1.  identify as science learners,
2.  believe in their own competence and ability to do complex science,
3.  be able to make connections between their personal lives and the science in which they’re participating,
4.  if differently-abled, be provided with physical supports to allow equitable access to science.

Finally, in order to increase science participation and learning in nondominant groups, designers of informal science learning environments should attend to the cultural and physical needs of their target audiences, should include members of the target audience in their design discussions, and should encourage on-going mentoring and support from stakeholders within the nondominant groups (Bell et al, 2009).

Question for Reflection:
How difficult do you think it would be to create a large-scale informal science learning environment that appealed to the cultural diversity for a city like Seattle?  How do you decide whose culture gets included?  How do you decide whose culture gets excluded?  How do you mitigate for that?

Manz' Student Argumentation article

Kirsten Rooks

Manz, E. (2014). Representing student argumentation as functionally emergent from scientific activity.Review of Educational Research (20), p 1-38. 

The National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education specifies eight scientific practices, including “Engaging in argument from evidence,” that students are to use as a means of building understanding about scientific ideas and concepts. Engaging in the scientific practices “helps students understand how scientific knowledge develops,” “it makes students’ knowledge more meaningful and embeds it more deeply in the their worldview,” and it “can also pique student’s curiosity, capture their interest, and motivate their continued study.” (p 42) 
In her paper, Representing student argumentation as functionally emergent from scientific activity, Eve Manz focuses initially on the Framework’s first stated rational of using the practices to instill in students an understanding of how “real” scientists conduct their work. She examines how well the scientific practice of argumentation as used in a scientific setting is comparable and/or transferrable to a classroom setting. Then, based on the different practices of a scientific setting and a classroom setting, she highlights ways in which the practice of scientific argumentation can best be adapted for the classroom. She also suggests some general instructional design parameters and future research ideas on how to best implement these practices to maximumly benefit students’ construction of scientific knowledge. 
Using a combined socio-cultural and cultural-historical activity theory lens, she defines practices as “embedded in a system of activity that lend them meaning… These systems include objects, goals, tools, and communities with particular norms and divisions of labor.” (p 3) Furthermore, “Because practices are sedimentations of solutions to problems, they have a historical and situated character and do not transfer unproblematically to new participants or locales.” (p 3) [BTW: This sentence, in which Manz efficiently, yet poetically, wraps up and delivers such a complex summation of an idea, is my favorite sentence in her paper.] 
She further elaborates that because the practices of a scientific setting are derived from objects, goals, tools, communities, and norms that are significantly different from those of a classroom, they (the practices) are not so easily transferred. She points out that in a scientific community, in which they are working with a high degree of uncertainty, the process of argumentation is used as much in the development of scientific knowledge - creating tools and investigations, evaluating results - as in the defense of the knowledge or idea after the fact. (p 4)
In the classrooms, science content and processes have tended to be presented as certain; they are stated in the curriculum and assessments and the teacher leads students to getting them right. In addition, generally the students’ goal in school is to get things right because that will lead to a good grade. In light of these conditions, the practice of authentic argumentation seems unlikely - what is there to argue and defend if the answer is already known? - and there is the possibility that argumentation becomes a distinct practice with rules and rubrics that students see as another thing to get right.
Manz makes a number of recommendations based on research to shift students’ use of argumentation so that it is used more as an authentic, knowledge-building practice like in scientific settings. She sums up the results of these recommendations collectively by stating, “I conceptualize argumentation as integral to students’ activity if it allows them to contest and agree on how they might know something, in turn, stabilizing particular models or inspiring new questions and models.” (p 20) Though the recommendations can be complicated, they can be implemented in the classroom through explicit instructional, class cultural, or curricular changes coupled with the time, practice, and persistence to implement them.
  1. The goal of students’ investigations and argumentation should be more significant than merely arguing after-the-fact findings in investigations. Such goals could include applying their knowledge to a broader phenomenon or to the understanding of or recommended action towards a larger social issue.
  2. Another important element in authentic argumentation is working with ideas and practices that are uncertain. She recommends that teachers identify areas where the methods and/or results of investigation, connection to larger scientific ideas, or overall claim are uncertain so that students have to truly examine, defend, and elaborate on their claims. (p 16)
  3. There must be a shift in the power structure of the class. Students have to stop viewing the teacher as the sole authority on the scientific knowledge and start seeing themselves and their classmates as those responsible for creating their own knowledge. 
  4. Teachers should present the students’ task as finding out how or why something is or how it applies to other phenomena as opposed to merely finding the right answer. This will involve asking fewer “yes/no” type questions and working on eliciting student ideas, opinions, elaborations, and critiques as a means to build knowledge.
  5. Students need to view themselves and their classmates as an audience who should ask questions about and ask for evidence for their ideas. Then students would start to view their own ideas more critically in preparation to defend them to others. This shift would involve establishing class-wide norms that emphasize the need to build one’s own knowledge, to listen to one another, to talk about, challenge, question, defend, and alter ideas.
  6. In order to be effective, scientific argumentation must follow certain norms, use of acceptable evidence and reasoning, and lead to knowledge building. Effective argumentation is complex and often unfamiliar to most students, and therefore must be explicitly taught and assessed. However, the teacher should focus on the purpose of argumentation more than the logistics of argumentation. Effective argumentation must be presented and understood by students to be ameans to build-knowledge, not an end product to be assessed independent of its purpose.
  7. To teach effective scientific argumentation, teachers can start with students’ knowledge and ability to argue based on other disciplines or even their out-of-school lives, and shift it to fit scientific argumentation. Teachers can also introduce end-claim argumentation first and extend its use backwards to the knowledge-building that led to the end-claim. 
  8. Argumentation is easier to learn, understand, and assess if it is presented as a physical representation such as a poster. In this format, the developing poster can serve as both a formative assessment to check students’ understanding as it builds and as a summative assessment of their overall understanding of the entire unit.
 Thought and question: Manz highlights both the importance of argumentation to build students’ knowledge as prescribed by the NGSS and the difficulty for teachers to implement this practice well. I believe I have a strong conceptual sense of scientific argumentation from Mark Windschitl’s Ambition Teaching Methods in Science class and a moderate practical sense of it for having worked to implement it for only about a year. 
How can this practice be taught to teachers effectively and at scale? Could this be done through an online training? How well are pre-service science teacher programs teaching argumentation as well as other NGSS practices? Is the answer the network-based method of teaching department heads or coaches or teacher leaders and hope/help them implement an ongoing PD with the fellow science teachers?

National Research Council. (2012). A framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Committee on a Conceptual Framework for New K-12 Science Education Standards. Board  on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Bruno Latour’s “The ‘Pedofil’ of Boa Vista: A photo-philosophical montage

Megan McGinty

Latour, B. (1995). The “Pedofil” of Boa Vista: A photo-philosophical montage. Common Knowledge, 4(1), pp. 144-187. 

In this reflective photo-prose essay, Latour follows a group of physical scientists into the field as they investigate the border between a savanna and a forest. As the scientists, a pedologist, a botanist and a geomorphologist, investigate and debate, Latour works alongside them in an effort to decipher ‘scientific reference’.
“Is the referent what I point to with my finger or what I bring back to the discourse?” p.150
As he traces the story arc from material survey (soil, plants) to scientific theory (the forest is encroaching onto the savanna) to next phase of investigation (Do worms account for the unusual soil profiles, and if so, how?), Latour moves back and forth between the photos and text, using each photo and its accompanying commentary to lay out a series of steps in the concurrent pedologic / botanical / geomorphic and socio-philosophical investigations. In selecting particular photographs and then narrating them with reflective captions, Latour is mirroring the actions of his fellow scientists, who are collecting data in various forms and samples— a blade of grass, a soil horizon, a coded soil color— and transmuting them into data via de- and re-contextualization, allowing the sample to represent a new piece of information in the process. Each of these bits of information are referents to a piece of the greater puzzle. It is not the mere act of representation that makes each sample important. It is the ability of that sample, in in the hands of the appropriate disciplinarian, to become a point of knowledge, transcendent of both its former and future contexts.
“It seems that reference is not what one points to, or what, from the outside, one would use to guarantee the truth of a statement; rather, it is that which remains constant through a series of transformations. Knowledge does not reflect a real exterior world that it would resemble via mimesis, but rather, a real interior world, the coherence and continuity of which it helps to ensure.” (p. 170, emphasis Latour’s)
These disciplinarians are then able to place the links into a larger series of understandings (held by the investigative team) about the soil processes on the edge of the forest / savanna border in Boa Vista. The result is a chain of movements from material (matter) to representation (form). This process is depicted by a chain figure that Latour draws, a most important part of the chain being that steps can be traced inboth directions.
“To know is not to explore, but rather to be able to return on your own footsteps, following the path you have just marked out.” p. 184
It is in this last quote that I see the relevance of this article to our seminar on science education an d reform. As science practices are translated into classroom practices, student mimicry of the steps or the practice is not sufficient for deep scientific understanding. That is, if students are not able to carry ‘that which remains constant through a series of transformations’, they will not have learned the art of scientific practice.
At the same time, Latour flips things in and out of context pretty quickly here and it can be easy to underestimate the difficulty of forging a link in Latour’s chain of meaning. For example, savanna soil is represented in a profile, a cube, the contents of a pit, a sample sent to Manaus, a texture, a codified color number, etc. In its various forms and contexts, the soil carries different meanings; the important point is not to get so caught up in the transformed soil in its new form (sample catalog number, texture, paint code) that we mistake the constancy of all its properties, i.e. that we don’t wind up trying to grow savanna grass on a paint chip the color of savanna topsoil.

Questions for discussion:
How closely can school lessons reflect the conditions under which scientific knowledge is produced? How far back (or forward) along Latour’s chain must teachers go to ensure that a scientific form is being sufficiently connected to its material origins? That is, how will they know they have created an adequate reference? (p.180)

The Mangle of Practice: Agency and Emergence in the Sociology of Science

Charlene Nolan

Pickering, A. The mangle of practice: Agency and emergence in the sociology of science. American Journal of Sociology,99(3), 559-589.

I found this article to be particularly dense, so my post is quite long as I try to work through this. I think it may be helpful to digest this article by understanding first 1) what is the concern with sociology of science; 2) what is the mangle of practice; and 3) what does it mean for us to decenter humanist science? I believe I can provide some insight into the first 2 questions, but the latter I believe we may need to discuss in class.
1) What is the Concern with Sociology of Science.
Pickering argues that sociology of science is now at a cross-roads to either reject non-human agency in understanding the practice of science or to recognize material agency with the caveat that now only “hard” scientists can practice science. Pickering offers the alternative of recognizing the dialectic, albeit asymmetrical dialectic, between material and non-material agentic forms (i.e. humans and tools). I would have found an explicit definition of what Pickering considers as “agency” helpful for digesting this chapter. Perhaps it is in the article and if so, would someone please provide a page number! I’m not familiar with actor-network analysis or sociology of science enough to know what the standard acceptable form of “agency” is. I therefore, assume that agency merely refers to the ability of a human or non-human to act in the world. In the case of humans, we act in accordance with specific goals and cultural practices, implicit and explicit, in mind. Non-human material tools act without intentionality, including and especially without human intention. This, I believe is the crux of his argument for why we should consider non-human material agency. It acts, at times against our wishes, and we then must re-act. This action and reaction constitute the “mangle of practice” which I attempt to outline in the next section.
To be completely clear, when Pickering talks about non-human things, I believe (and hope) he is talking about tools and artifacts and not non-human living things. In order to make his point about non-material agency, it is important to recognize that the non-material forms to which he refers have no intentionality in their agency. I suppose you could make a similar argument that non-human living kinds can participate in the “mangle of practice,” which I outline in the next section of this post, but I would argue that we would then have to consider the intentionality (future goals) of those non-human living kinds.

2) The Mangle of Practice
 “Resistance (and accommodation) is at the heart of the struggle between human and material realms in which each is interactively restructured with respect to the other—in which, as in our example, material agency, scientific knowledge, and human agency and its social contours are all reconfigured at once.”- pg. 385
I found the above quote to be particularly helpful. I believe this quote, plus the temporal unfolding of this process of resistance and accommodation to be the heart of the “mangle of practice.” In essence, what is the dialectic relationship between human and material in terms of resistance and accommodation unfolding across time?
One question that I had here was whether a material could accommodate or if this was solely a human accomplishment because it requires intentionality? Is this part of what Pickering means by an asymmetrical dialectic?
3) How this relates to us?
I found it interesting that in understanding the mangle of practice, Pickering emphasized modeling as an example of the link between the dialectic relationship of humans and materials. As humans design materials, encounter resistance from that material in regards to intended goals, and accommodate and redesign said materials, we participate in an act of modeling. “Modeling, then, is the link between existing culture and future states that are the goals of scientific practice, but the link is not a causal or mechanical one: the choice of any particular model opens up an indefinite space of different goals” (pg. 383).

Guiding questions for class discussion:
1. As a way into the discussion, can you think of a situation where you were modeling something and it did not go originally as planned? How does this connect with the mangle of practice?
2. What does this mean for us as we design learning environments and materials/tools to facilitate learning? How do we take into account material agency into our design and teaching?

Language demands and opportunities in NGSS practices

Sukh Makhnoon

Language Demands and Opportunities in Relation to Next Generation Science Standards for English Language Learners: What Teachers Need to Know by Quinn H, Lee O, Vald├ęs G, 
In science, everyone is an English language learner (ELL). This is because words and terminology used in science is often different from their everyday meanings. Words such as "Energy" have everyday usage that is broader and less defined than their scientific meaning. Learning new discipline-specific words is an everyday exercise in science (words such as gene, biome, proton etc).
Students for whom English is the second language of instruction, the language learning challenges are doubled- they have to learn 'Science language' as well as English language. To help ELLs in their learning, the article provides several tools for teachers to use in their instruction, with particular focus on 4 of their 8 practices that are most inter-related, represent major shift in ideas and require classroom discourse and therefore opportunities for language learning.  
The article suggests several tools for teachers, some of which are:
Literacy strategies: don't simplify the challenges of science reading, rather provide them with tools to "decode" complex sentences
Discourse strategies: establish classroom norms to encourage questions; "use multiple modes of representation (gestural, oral, pictorial, graphic, and textual) to communicate meanings".
Home language support: allow 'translanguaging' or offer connections between science-y words and their native language 
Home culture connections: students' backgrounds can serve as important experiences in academic learning

Questions to think about:
What was a memorable experience for you when familiar words were being used in unfamiliar ways and you could not follow the science-y discussion? Do you think instances like this happen often in science or science communication? What do you do in your practice to accommodate ELLs?