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Photo of Ryu, Minjung

Minjung Ryu

Associate Professor, and Director of Undergraduate Studies




SELW 3235

Office Phone:

(312) 355-8055



My research focuses on issues around diversity, equity, language, and participation in various STEM and chemistry learning settings. Throughout K-16 education, U.S. classrooms are becoming more diverse, representing multiple different races, languages, and cultures of students. Despite this demographic change, teaching practices and learning environments do not sufficiently support racially, linguistically, and culturally nondominant learners. Within this context, I am very interested in 1) how racial, ethnic, and linguistic minority students engage in classroom discourses in STEM and chemistry, 2) how multilingual learners use multiple different languages and representations to participate in learning activities, 3) how these learners discursively construct their identities, and 4) what are impacts of these social and linguistic interactions on their content learning. In my projects, I primarily utilize ethnography, video analysis, and multimodal multilingual discourse analysis to study aforementioned issues.

Currently, I am directing an NSF project to help high school science teachers better support English learners in linguistically diverse classrooms (NSF DRL #1813937). In this project, I design and implement a practice-based professional development program for high school science teachers. The goal of this research is to improve science teachers’ understanding of their students who bring diverse racial, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds and practices to leverage students’ rich sense-making resources. Before this project, I ran an after school project that engaged resettled Burmese refugee youth in learning and talking about STEM (NSF DRL #1612688). In this project, the learners learn about weather phenomena, climate, and climate change by conducting hands-on experiments, reading and writing, conducting online research, and verbally sharing their knowledge and experiences. Through the research in this setting, I explore how youth participate in STEM sense-making, engage in identity work, and leverage those experiences in informal settings into STEM learning in school settings and seek to find ways to enhance their STEM learning.

Selected Publications

Ryu, M. (2019). Mixing languages for science learning and participation: an examination of Korean-English bilingual learners in an after-school science-learning programme, International Journal of Science Education, 41(10), 1303-1323.

Ryu, M. & Sikorski, T.-R. (2019). Tracking a learner’s verbal participation in science over time: Analysis of talk features within a social context. Science Education, 103, 561-589.

Ryu, M., Tuvilla, M. R. S., & Wright, C. E. (2019). Resettled Burmese refugee youth’s identity work in an afterschool STEM learning setting. To be published in Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 33(1), 84-97.

Ryu, M., Mentzer, N., & Knobloch, N. (2019). Preservice teachers’ experiences of STEM integration: Challenges and implications for integrated STEM teacher preparation. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 29(3), 493-512.

Ryu, M. & Tuvilla, M. R. S. (2018). Resettled refugee youths’ stories of migration, schooling, and future: Challenging dominant narratives about refugees. The Urban Review, 50(4), 539-558.

Ryu, M., Nardo, J. E., & Wu M. Y. M. (G) (2018). An examination of preservice elementary teachers’ representations about chemistry in an intertextuality- and modeling-based course. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 19, 681-693.

Ryu, M. (2015). An examination of Melody’s identities, contexts, and learning in a US science classroom: implications for science education of Asian transnational students. Asia-Pacific Science Education, 1:4.

Ryu, M. (2015). Understanding Korean transnational girls in high school science classes: Beyond the model minority stereotype. Science Education, 99(2), 350-377.

Ryu, M. (2015). Positionings of racial, ethnic, and linguistic minority students in high school biology class: Implications for science education in diverse classrooms. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 52(3), 347-370.

Ryu, M. (2013). Dancing between Kyung Soo and Mike: Identity formation through dialogic interactions. In R. Endo & X. L. Rong (Eds.), Educating Asian Americans: Achievement, schooling, and identities (pp. 181-204). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.


Ph.D. — Science Education, University of Maryland, College Park (2012)
M.S. — Chemistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea (2005)
B.S. — Chemistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea (2003)