Date of Award

Summer 8-6-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Rosa Mazurett-Boyle, Ed.D.


In the current climate of the New York State (NYS) educational system high-stakes assessment is imperative to all students receiving a high school diploma including English language learners (ELLs). The linguistic demands of these assessments are extremely high and non-commanding ELLs must demonstrate content knowledge using language and literacy skills that are beyond their linguistic repertoire. The capstone is written through a sociocultural lens with an emphasis on Vygotsky’s social constructivism. The proposed solution is the addition of an inquiry-based framework to the secondary science classroom which integrates language, literacy and content with careful consideration to the needs of ELLs. In order to mitigate the problem and increase assessment scores secondary science teachers will be introduced to the inquiry-based framework through a professional development opportunity. The participants will identify the problem occurring among ELLs, explore the framework including research-based evidence of success and interventions for the classroom. Finally, teachers will work collaboratively to modify a lesson of their own to integrate the inquiry-based approach and emphasize content and language simultaneously. The goal of the PD is for ELLs to receive more contextualized learning that develops English language skills and content knowledge, ultimately leading to increased proficiency scores on high-stakes science assessments in NYS.