Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

Summer 10-1-2021

Document Type



Ganesan, U. (2020). Exploration of Lived Experiences of Science Teachers of English Language Learners: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study. THE NEBRASKA EDUCATOR, VOLUME 6 (October 2021), pp 42-79.

doi: 10.32873/unl.dc.ne022


Copyright © 2021 University of Nebraska


English language learners (ELLs) are a talented pool of culturally and linguistically diverse students who are persistently increasing both in absolute size and percentage in the U.S. school population; however, they are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in college as well as in the workforce (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). Education and scientific communities have found it challenging to improve students’ participation in STEM fields (Martinez et al., 2011). Exploring science teachers’ experiences could aid in improving academic achievement of ELLs and promoting educational equity. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study is to explore and describe the extrinsic and intrinsic aspects, support systems, and challenges that science teachers of ELLs experience at a public high school in a large Midwestern city in the United States. Data collection methods include individual in-depth, semi-structured and focus group interviews to analyze and search for dominant themes. The anticipated findings and discussion describe dominant themes, i.e., the overall essence of the phenomenon of teaching science to ELLs. Insights into teachers’ experiences will help educators, educational leaders, policy makers, and researchers to better understand methods to improve ELLs’ science outcomes. Potential limitations, implications, and possible areas for future research that could pave ways for increasing participation of ELLs in STEM fields and related careers are addressed.