Malone, K. R., & Barabino, G. (2009). Narrations of race in STEM research settings: Identity formation and its discontents. Science Education, 93(3), 485–510.
This study investigates specific challenges that students of color have in developing a personal identity related to science. The researchers examined how experiences in graduate school programs shaped the emergent identities of African-American women students in science and engineering. The study sheds light on the barriers cultural minority students might face in their pursuit of science in school and in careers, and suggests that educators might help to prepare students for these experiences.
Tran, N. A. (2011). The relationship between students’ connections to out-of-school experiences and factors associated with science learning. International Journal of Science Education, 33(12), 1625-1651.
How do students make connections between in-school and out-of school contexts? In this study involving the analysis of questionnaire responses of 1014 11th and 12th graders, the author found that out-of-school experiences are positively associated with the learning outcomes of science learning achievement, science interest, and self-efficacy. However, the analysis also showed that connections made by teachers to out-of-school experiences negatively correlated with student achievement.
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
Nasir, N. S., & Hand, V. (2008). From the court to the classroom: Opportunities for engagement, learning, and identity in basketball and classroom mathematics. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 17(2), 143–179. doi:10.1080/10508400801986108
This article discusses the potential for learner engagement in the contexts of a basketball team and a mathematics classroom. The qualitative analysis centers on three aspects of each context: access to the domain, the integral roles available to learners, and opportunities for self-expression.
Johnson, C. C. (2011). The road to culturally relevant science: Exploring how teachers navigate change in pedagogy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(2), 170–198.
This article reports on a case study of two middle school science teachers who took part in professional development designed to help them enact culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms. The long-term and community-oriented aspects of the professional development seemed to play a vital role in supporting the teachers’ success.
Nasir , N. S., Rosebery , A. S., Warren, B., & Lee, C. D . (2006). Learning as a cultural process: Achieving equity through diversity. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 489–504). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
To create more equitable learning opportunities for students from marginalized communities, educators can design learning experiences that help young people connect their everyday interests and knowledge to academic content. Nasir et al. synthesized research on how students use sophisticated math in everyday practices like discussing basketball, playing dominoes, and selling candy. Then they explain how learning improves when varied student experiences are made relevant in informal and formal learning environments.
Lai, B., Slota, S. & Medin, D. (2012). "Our Princess Is in Another Castle. A Review of Trends in Serious Gaming for Education. Review of Educational Research, 82(296), 295-299.
Do video games have positive impacts on the academic K–12 curriculum? A literature review of more than 300 research articles finds minimal evidence that video games have any positive effects on mathematics and science achievement. From a situated-learning perspective, however, games may afford other benefits that measures on test scores do not record.
Briseño-Garzón, A. (2013). More than science: Family learning in a Mexican science museum. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 8(2), 307–327. doi:10.1007/s11422-012-9477-0
Briseño-Garzón analyzed interviews with 20 families after they visited Universum Museo de las Ciencias. She concluded that the benefits of visiting a science museum are “much more than science,” including spending quality time together as a family, interacting with others, learning about local culture and history, learning from each other, and, of course, learning science.
White, T., & Pea, R. (2011). “Distributed by design: On the promises and pitfalls of collaborative learning with multiple representations.” Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(3), 489–547. doi:10.1080/10508406.2010.542700.
This article provides firm evidence, for formal and informal educators alike, that shared learning can be powerful and meaningful, if carefully considered. Findings from a study conducted in a summer middle school mathematics class suggest that when students are able to ask legitimate, authentic questions and share understanding about a common problem, their learning becomes truly “distributed by design.”
Bricker, L. A., Reeve, S., & Bell, P. (2014). ‘She has to drink blood of the snake’: Culture and prior knowledge in science/health education. International Journal of Science Education, 36(9). 1457 – 1475. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2013.827817
This paper’s findings illustrate the claim that young people’s prior knowledge cannot be separated from the cultural context in which it is situated. Using examples from a longitudinal ethnographic study of 13 children, the authors Bricker and Reeve argue that, in order to understand young people’s thinking and practice, we need to understand the social and cultural systems in which their thinking is embedded.