The inadequacies of “Science for All” and the necessity and nature of a socially transformative curriculum approach for african American science education

Authors

  • Jomo W. Mutegi

    Corresponding author
    1. Indiana University, IUPUI, 902 West New York Street, ES 3132, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202
    • Indiana University, IUPUI, 902 West New York Street, ES 3132, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202.
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Abstract

“Science for All” is a mantra that has guided science education reform and practice for the past 20 years or so. Unfortunately, after 20 years of “Science for All” guided policy, research, professional development, and curricula African Americans continue to participate in the scientific enterprise in numbers that are staggeringly low. What is more, if current reform efforts were to realize the goal of “Science for All,” it remains uncertain that African American students would be well-served. This article challenges the idea that the type of science education advocated under the “Science for All” movement is good for African American students. It argues that African American students are uniquely situated historically and socially and would benefit greatly from a socially transformative approach to science education curricula designed to help them meet their unique sociohistorical needs. The article compares the curriculum approach presented by current reform against a socially transformative curriculum approach. It concludes with a description of research that could support the curricular approach advocated. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Inc. J Res Sci Teach 48: 301–316, 2011

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