National Science Foundation awards UMass Dartmouth professor $778,770 to advance science education for English language learners

NSF CAREER Award designed to support promising young scientists

UMass Dartmouth Assistant Professor Shakhnoza Kayumova, a researcher at the Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in STEM Education, has received a $778,770 National Science Foundation grant to help address the pressing national need for English language learners to study science.

The project is funded through the NSF’s prestigious CAREER Award for Faculty Early Career Development. Entitled, “Analyzing the Nexus between Advantaged Social Positioning and Science Identity Development Among English Language Learners,” the project includes development of data that will support the teaching of ELL students as they grapple with language acquisition and understanding the content of their science education.

Results will help educators, policymakers and researchers as they seek to design effective instructional programs that support long-term achievement among a set of learners who are diverse in race, ethnicity, culture and language.

"Through this grant we hope to develop strategies for English language learners to succeed in science, math and related subjects," Dr. Kayumova said. "This is a big challenge in communities such as New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton. The success of these students in developing the knowledge and skills for 21st century jobs will lead to economic success for these communities."

The NSF CAREER Program is designed to support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Congressman William Keating, whose district includes UMass Dartmouth, said: “At a time when technology’s role in our lives is increasing exponentially, UMass Dartmouth is leading the way in providing English language learners the STEM instruction they need to participate in our workforce. I am proud to support Professor Kayumova’s STEM education efforts, and I am confident students will reap life-changing benefits from this deserved award.”

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