Social constructivism: Infusion into the multicultural science education research agenda
Article first published online: 7 DEC 1998
Copyright © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Journal of Research in Science Teaching
Volume 33, Issue 8, pages 821–837, October 1996
How to Cite
Atwater, M. M. (1996), Social constructivism: Infusion into the multicultural science education research agenda. J. Res. Sci. Teach., 33: 821–837. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2736(199610)33:8<821::AID-TEA1>3.0.CO;2-Y
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 1998
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 1998
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 MAY 1996
- Manuscript Revised: 20 MAY 1996
- Manuscript Received: 23 FEB 1995
This article focuses on (a) theoretical underpinnings of social constructivism and multicultural education and (b) aspects of social constructivism that can provide frameworks for research in multicultural science education. According to the author, multicultural science education is “a field of inquiry with constructs, methodologies, and processes aimed at providing equitable opportunities for all students to learn quality science.” Multicultural science education research continues to be influenced by class, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, and different lifestyles; however, another appropriate epistemology for this area of research is social constructivism. The essence of social constructivism and its implications for multicultural science education research includes an understanding of whatever realities might be constructed by individuals from various cultural groups and how these realities can be reconstituted, if necessary, to include a scientific reality. Hence, multicultural science education should be a field of study in which many science education researchers are generating new knowledge. The author strives to persuade other researchers to expand their research and teaching efforts into multicultural science education, a blending of social constructivism with multicultural science education. This blending is illustrated in the final section of this article. © 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.