Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Dr. Theresa Catalano

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Lewis

Third Advisor

Dr. Amanda Morales

Date of this Version

Summer 7-1-2020


Ganesan, U. (2020). Exploration of Lived Experiences of Science Teachers of English Language Learners: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, United States. Retrieved from


Paper for Qualitative Approaches to Educational Research, EDPS 900K, Summer 2020, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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). Although educational leaders, policy makers, and researchers have emphasized the importance of STEM for the country’s continued prosperity, both 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 lived experiences of science teachers of ELLs at a public high school in a large Midwestern city in the USA. Data will be collected from 5-10 science teachers of ELLs (or until data saturation is reached) using individual in-depth, semi-structured and focus group interviews. Data will be analyzed using MAXQDA to search for dominant themes. The findings and discussion will describe these 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. I will include potential limitations, implications, and possible areas for future research that could pave ways for increasing participation of ELLs in STEM fields and related careers.