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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Supporting English Learners in STEM Subjects
Project Scope

The imperative that all students, including English learners (ELs), achieve high academic standards has become even more urgent and complex. To address this growing need, a committee of experts from a wide range of fields will produce a final report that synthesizes the evidence-base on supporting EL students in STEM subjects from pre-K through grade 12 and provide recommendations on how to improve learning outcomes in STEM for these students. The study will explore both the research evidence and successful programs or interventions both within the United States and abroad in order to identify promising practices for supporting ELs in STEM. It will also consider the needs of STEM teachers with respect to instruction and assessment of ELs.

The committee will address the following questions:

• What are promising approaches to support ELs (including students with disabilities) in learning STEM?
• Given the diversity within the EL population, what has worked, for whom, and under what conditions?
• What additional research is needed to understand what makes them effective and what commonly
  used approaches may be less effective?
• What is the role of teachers in supporting the success of ELs in STEM?
• What is known about the biases teachers may bring to their work with EL students and how can these be
  effectively addressed?
• What kinds of curriculum, professional development experiences, and assessment are needed in order for
  STEM teachers to improve their support for ELs in STEM?
• How can assessments in STEM (both formative and summative) be designed to reflect the new content standards
  and to be appropriate for EL students? What assessment accommodations might need to be considered?
• How do policies and practices at the national, state, and local level constrain or facilitate efforts to better support 
  ELs in STEM (including policies related   to identification of students)? What kinds of changes in policy and
  practice are needed?
• What are the gaps in the current research base and what are the key directions for research, both short-term
  and long-term?

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

Committee Meetings

Meeting 1: April 10-11, 2017 – DC:  Agenda
Meeting 2: July 26-27, 2017 – DC: Agenda
Meeting 3: October 26-27, 2017 – Irvine : Agenda  
Meeting 4: December 7-8, 2017 – Irvine : This meeting was closed in it's entirety.   
Meeting 5: March 22-23, 2018 – DC : This meeting was closed in it's entirety. 

Committee Members

David Francis (Chair), Department of Psychology, University of Houston
Alison Bailey, Department of Education, University of California, Los Angeles
Hyman Bass, School of Education, University of Michigan
Cory Buxton
, Department of Educational Theory and Practice, University of Georgia
Kathryn Chval, College of Education, University of Missouri
Marta Civil, Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona
Christine Cunningham, Museum of Science, Boston, MA
Leslie Herrenkohl, Learning Sciences and Human Development, University of Washington
Megan Hopkins, Education Studies, University of California, San Diego
Okhee Lee, Childhood Education, New York University
Judit Moschkovich, Mathematics Education, University of California, Santa Cruz
Kendra Renee Pullen, Caddo Parrish Public Schools, Shreveport, LA
Maria Santos, WestEd, San Francisco, CA
Mary Schleppegrell, Education, University of Michigan
Guillermo Solano-Flores, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University


Amy Stephens, Study Director
Kenne Dibner, Program Officer
Margaret Kelly, Senior Program Assistant
Tiffany Taylor, Research Associate

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