Graduate Research Papers
The effects of STEM inquiry practices on English language acquisition in a first grade classroom in Thailand
Open Access Graduate Research Paper
Science -- Study and teaching (Primary); Technology -- Study and teaching (Primary); Education, Primary -- Thailand; Education, Bilingual -- Thailand; English-only movement;
This mixed-methods teacher action research project describes and interprets the effects of one American teacher's bicultural critical inquiry praxis on Thai first grade students' English language acquisition. The observations were conducted for one full academic year for 37 students enrolled in a bilingual, multicultural STEM pilot program. The results are based upon participant observation and narrative inquiry from a qualitative standpoint. However, quantitative methods were used to analyze 1) students' questioning, answering techniques and physical activities based on video recordings of STEM lesson activities; 2) students' growth in critical thinking skills as measured by their writing in relation to their exposure to STEM activities and increased participation in democratic education practices; 3) students' performance on formal assessments; and 4) the major themes identified from foreign teachers' feedback regarding their experiences teaching in Thailand. The author considers her own power of position in relation to markedly different Thai cultural practices, customs and values from her own, in order to determine which variables potentially yield the highest effect in promoting student acquisition of STEM knowledge, skills and dispositions. The results of this study indicate that Thai students' English literacy is developed at an increased rate when instruction is based on STEM inquiry practices that encourage dual language communication in a democratic, multicultural, collaborative, community of learners setting. The study concludes with a critique of the English Only Movement's potential influence on Thai identity.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Lynn E. Nielsen
1 PDF file (108 pages : illustrations)
©2013 Rebecca J. Fuhrman-Petersen
Fuhrman-Petersen, Rebecca J., "The effects of STEM inquiry practices on English language acquisition in a first grade classroom in Thailand" (2013). Graduate Research Papers. 36.