Academic journal article Science Scope

Speaking Up for All

Academic journal article Science Scope

Speaking Up for All

Article excerpt

This month's theme, Science for All, calls attention to the charge set forth in the Framework (NRC 2013) to make science accessible to all learners, irrespective of their background or ability level. Appendix D of the Framework, All Standards, All Students, makes it clear that our teaching must change in response to an increasingly diverse student population and an ever-widening achievement gap. This gap was highlighted in a recent study that revealed underserved students continue to lag behind their peers in terms of both college readiness and performance in STEM college classes (ACT 2015).

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When addressing the needs of all learners it is vital to acknowledge that our students are not blank slates; they possess knowledge acquired via their community and cultural language. We can promote science learning by valuing the home and community experiences that students possess, by allowing for articulation within the classroom that merges disciplinary knowledge with cultural knowledge, and by providing resources that can support the learning of science (Lee 2011).

Of note is the role of articulation; its application in the science classroom has particular significance for students who may possess a disability or who are from a culturally different background. The use of language, specifically spoken language, can assist our students in participating as viable members of their classroom science learning community while promoting equity within our classrooms. …

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