Expanding our understandings of urban science education by expanding the roles of students as researchers



In this article, we explore the roles of student researchers as they have emerged over 5 years of studies on the teaching and learning of science in urban high schools. These studies incorporate sociocultural theory in an approach to research that explores the capital that urban students bring to school and situates student researchers as active participants who exercise agency by accessing and appropriating a variety of resources. We provide examples of students engaged as productive, central members of a research team and describe the roles in which they have participated, from teacher educators and science learners to curriculum developers and ethnographers. We show how the involvement of students as researchers, within these roles, allows them to produce and select artifacts and data resources for interpretation that offer unique insider perspectives on how to improve the teaching and learning of science for urban high school students. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 42: 807–828, 2005