Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Chair/Advisor

Jeff Marshall

Committee Member

Brooke Whitworth

Committee Member

Megan Che

Committee Member

Luke Rapa

Committee Member

Matt Voigt


Emergent bilingual (EB) students in the US are those who are in the process of developing academic English proficiency. EBs are some of the fastest growing populations of students in American public schools. There exists a great deal of research geared towards developing both curricular resources and instructional strategies to best support EBs in the science classroom, however many of these professional development studies lament the lack of growth in terms of achievement in science learning outcomes of EBs. It is possible that due to a lack of transformation in their beliefs that the teachers in these studies do not effectively implement the curricular and instructional strategies.

This exploratory multiple case study explored the personal transformative learning experiences of five science teachers. These science teachers self-identify as having experienced transformative learning which influenced their attitudes and beliefs towards EB students. Through in-depth interviews, I uncovered the salient aspects of their transformations as well as the barriers and resources involved in their transformations. I found three salient aspects of their TLEs: 1) the disorienting dilemma of inexperience, 2) the role of mentorship in the transformation of beliefs, and 3) the essential presence of EBs in transforming the sociolinguistic meaning perspective. I also found the following barriers and resources involved in their TLEs: 1) the barrier of time, 2) the barriers of language and culture, and 3) the resource of expert guidance. This work aims to impact both research and professional development in science education geared towards improving achievement for EBs.

Author ORCID Identifier



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