Esmonde, I. (2009). Mathematics learning in groups: Analyzing equity in two cooperative activity structures. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(2), 247–284.
This article discusses the design and conditions of high school mathematics activities that aim to distribute opportunities to learn to all students. Of particular interest to ISE educators is the analysis of how some ostensibly equitable group activities may shut down equal participation. Also of interest is the theoretical discussion of the relationship between opportunities to productively participate in mathematical activities and the development of positive mathematical learning identities.
Howes, E. V., Lim, M., & Campos, J. (2009). Journeys into inquiry-based elementary science: Literacy practices, questioning, and empirical study. Science Education, 93(2), 189–217.
Combining science and literacy is becoming a common teaching strategy, which builds on the importance of professional scientists’ use of reading, writing, and speaking in their work. This paper consists of descriptions of efforts of three elementary teachers to teach literacy through science. The authors’ purpose was to theorize how and why to integrate literacy practices with scientific inquiry, to provide examples for educators, and to provide considerations for implementation, all of which may also be useful for informal educators.
Xu, J., Coats, L., & Davidson, M. (2012). Promoting student interest in science: The perspectives of exemplary African American teachers. American Educational Research Journal, 49(1), 124–154.
This study investigated what exemplary African American science teachers do to develop interest in science among low-income African American elementary students. The researchers found three interrelated approaches:
1) Having a genuine interest—in science, in teaching, and in students’ lives
2) Scaffolding students’ interest in science
3) Offering multiple standpoints—many ways for students to engage
Levinson, R. (2010). Science education and democratic participation: An uneasy congruence. Studies in Science Education, 46(1), 69–119.
Democratic participation is supposed to be enabled by the skills of scientific literacy. But there are several models of democratic participation—deficit, deliberative, and more radical forms. The author of this paper argues that educators need to make explicit to students the political and hegemonic bases underlying these models as well as the role of scientific knowledge and decision-making. This paper may be of interest to ISE educators leading programs supporting scientific literacy through argumentation, participation, and
Roschelle, J., Bakia, M., Toyama, Y, & Patton, C. (2011). Eight issues for learning scientists about education and the economy. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(1), 3–49.
The authors of this paper examine a common rhetorical claim that improved STEM education is critical to the economic future of the United States. The first part of the paper points out certain weaknesses in this argument. The second part considers how learning research might be directed to test connections between STEM education and the economy, including with respect to workforce pipeline issues and programs. This paper is addressed to researchers in the learning sciences, but its arguments may also be of interest to educators leading workforce development programs.
DeGennaro, D., & Brown, T. L. (2009). Youth voices: Connections between history, enacted culture and identity in a digital divide initiative. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4(1), 13–39.
The paper describes how middle school students appropriated and transformed a particular learning experience in an afterschool literacy program in Philadelphia. The learning experience was designed to ensure that urban African-American, middle school girls had access to technology and learned how to use it to create a web page that showcased future career aspirations. The program’s director enlisted the help of male, Caucasian high school students from the suburbs of Philadelphia to facilitate the technology learning experience for the middle school youth (both girls and boys were in the program). The researchers identified a wide range of ways that cultural assumptions were made and projected upon the urban middle school students, and how these middle school students resisted and transformed the program into one where they could explore and communicate their identities within their communities. This paper can draw ISE educators’ attention to the existing resources and strengths that teens from nondominant communities bring to learning experiences.
Laubach, T. A., Crofford, G. D., & Marek, E. A. (2012). Exploring Native American students’ perceptions of scientists. International Journal of Science Education, 34(11), 1769–1794.
Some say that if we could dismantle negative stereotypes of scientists, minority students would be more likely to consider careers in STEM. But precisely what views do minority students hold? In this study, researchers examined the perceptions of 133 Native American students by analysing students’ drawings of scientists and their accompanying written explanations.
Grimberg, B. I., & Gummer, E. (2013). Teaching science from cultural points of intersection. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50(1), 12–32.
This study examines the effectiveness of a teacher professional development program that sought to address the integration of Native American students’ cultures with classroom science teaching. Informal science education practitioners interested in reaching non-dominant populations can use this study as evidence that professional development focusing on cultural points of intersection has a positive effect.
Villanueva, M. G., Taylor, J., Therrien, W., & Hand, B. (2012). Science education for students with special needs. Studies in Science Education, 48(2), 187–215.
Students with special educational needs score significantly below their peers across several measures of science achievement. However, educational approaches that provide appropriate scaffolding and support, such as the inquiry-based science writing heuristic described in this paper, can benefit special educational needs students and ensure an equitable experience for all.
Bang, M., & Medin, D. (2010). Cultural processes in science education: Supporting the navigation of multiple epistemologies. Science Education, 94(6), 1009–1026.
In this study, the authors describe a conceptual framework addressing culturally based ways of knowing, and provide a brief description of their efforts to design a community-based summer science program with a Native American tribe using this framework. To address the call to attract culturally diverse students to STEM fields, the authors advocate supporting students in their navigation of multiple and perhaps conflicting epistemologies, and using the student community as resources to be built upon, rather than pushing them toward replacing their personal epistemologies with canonical scientific ones. The authors, in addition to giving an example of the development of a summer camp curriculum, provide examples of how they drew on Native students’ knowledge and community practices to impact student learning.