Science Education as a Catalyst for Social Change? Justice-Centered Pedagogy in Secondary Chemistry
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This dissertation presents the findings of a retrospective case study of an Advanced Placement (AP) chemistry class in a neighborhood high school that was founded as the result of a hunger strike organized to protest the systemic neglect of two urban Mexican American and African American communities. Within this context, three research questions guided the investigation of the (1) opportunities and challenges of developing and implementing socially transformative science curriculum, (2) the teaching practices, classroom structures, and routines that supported or impeded the students’ development (3) the responses and reflections of students on their experiences through their classwork and as they looked back on the class as college students. Justice-centered science pedagogy is presented as a framework that is built on the traditions of critical pedagogy and culturally relevant pedagogy to theorize teaching that aims to address inequities in science education as one component of oppression caused by white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy. This teacher research study applies the extended case method to analyze three data sets: interviews with students and other stakeholders, student work artifacts, and the teacher’s archival records. Two approaches to designing socially transformative science curricula emerged from the data, each with their own affordances and challenges. Students exhibited three orientations towards science that were consistent with their development as transformative intellectuals. Two sets of teaching practices and classroom structures and routines were important in the implementation of these curricula because of the way they aligned the values of the classroom with the values of other communities in which students participated. This study concludes by presenting implications for science teachers, teacher educators, and educational researchers who view science education as potentially contributing to larger efforts for social transformation.
culturally relevant pedagogy
teaching for social justice
socially transformative curriculum
Date available in INDIGO2015-10-21T14:17:02Z