Making science accessible to all: Results of a design experiment in inclusive classrooms

Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, Shirley J. Magnusson, Kathleen Mary Collins, Jane Cutter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent science reform documents call for students to develop robust understandings of scientific concepts and reasoning through inquiry-based instruction. The challenge of this goal is increased in heterogeneous inclusive classroom settings with students identified as having learning disabilities and emotional impairments. This article describes a design experiment conducted over two school years in which we investigated the experiences and outcomes for special needs students in guided inquiry science instruction in upper-elementary grade classrooms (n = 4). Phase 1 ('97-'98) of the design experiment utilized qualitative and quantitative data to construct case studies of individual learners with special needs. Patterns across the cases informed the identification of advanced instructional strategies hypothesized to support special needs students relative to language/cognition, print literacy, attention, and social relations challenges. In Phase 2 ('98-'99), we studied learning outcomes from instruction including the advanced strategies (same teachers, topics as Phase 1). Our findings indicate that in Phase 2 (with the advanced strategies) all students demonstrated significant learning gains over Phase 1 and that special needs and low-achieving students in three of four classes showed changes in understanding comparable to those of normally achieving students. We conclude by identifying implications of these findings for the roles of general and special educators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

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Students
classroom
experiment
science
student
instruction
Learning
Learning Disorders
learning disability
Cognition
Social Relations
learning
cognition
Language
school grade
literacy
educator
reform
teacher
language

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Palincsar, Annemarie Sullivan ; Magnusson, Shirley J. ; Collins, Kathleen Mary ; Cutter, Jane. / Making science accessible to all : Results of a design experiment in inclusive classrooms. In: Learning Disability Quarterly. 2001 ; Vol. 24, No. 1. pp. 15-32.
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Making science accessible to all : Results of a design experiment in inclusive classrooms. / Palincsar, Annemarie Sullivan; Magnusson, Shirley J.; Collins, Kathleen Mary; Cutter, Jane.

In: Learning Disability Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 1, 01.01.2001, p. 15-32.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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