1st Edition

Equity and Science Education Reform

ISBN 9780805832495
Published January 1, 2000 by Routledge
316 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

This lucid, accessible, thought-provoking discussion of issues related to equity in science education reform is for science educators, including idealists and exacting pragmatists, who are dedicated to exploring what it means to put into practice rallying cries like "science literacy for all," "equity and excellence," and "standards-based reform."

Intended as an enjoyable and stimulating read, as opposed to a comprehensive summary of everything ever written about equity in science education, it is a response to the new science education standards and reforms, with their goal of science literacy for all. If this goal is to be taken seriously, the implications are immense. A central purpose of this book is to project and discuss how achieving this goal would affect science education reform and vice versa.

The work is research based, using statistics, tables, and figures drawn primarily from NSF reports and other public information documents to provide a foundation for equity concerns. However, these statistics are not the main focus of the book. Rather, they are used to make a case, backed by pertinent research, the literature on best practice, and provocative examples from schools and classrooms. Charts, tables, and graphic organizers provide visual evidence and enhance the arguments presented.

Moving from research-based studies to classroom stories, Equity and Science Education Reform encourages readers to think about the complexity of the issues. No easy answers or quick fixes are offered.

Researching across "identity" areas and attempting to unite them in a discussion that recognizes both the common elements as well as important distinctions, it provides a comprehensive picture of equity concerns across ethnicity, class, gender, and location. Encompassing a broad literature in science education, reform and policy, and equity issues, it offers an "equity schema" as a unifying concept to guide discussion throughout.

This book is based, in part, on a series of nine background papers that were commissioned by the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Project 2061 and the summary document, which was written by the author of this book. But it goes far beyond the original study to provide a consistent, coherent, and lively discussion that vividly illustrates the issues raised by the experiences of teachers and students who are struggling with equity principles in the context of science education reform.

Table of Contents

Contents: W.G. Secada, Foreword. Preface. Science, Literacy, Social Justice, and Equity: Listening to Our Better Angels. Demographics and Trends in Science Education. Diversity Defies Generalization: Don't Fence Me In. Culture, Worldview, and Prejudice. Curricular Issues: Whose Science Is It? Whose Could It Be? Resources and Opportunity to Learn: Pole-Vaulting Without the Pole. School Organization. Teachers and Teaching: Understanding, Courage, and Change. Assessment, Equity, and Science Education Reform. Families, Peers, and Community: How They Influence Student Learning and Resiliency. Policy, Research, and Practice in Science Education Reform.

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"Class, race, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status, gender, geography, and language proficiency are all addressed at a level that will challenge, without frustrating, upper-level undergraduates and beginning graduate students. The volume will help students to understand the scope of equity issues as well as widen their worldviews. Appropriate for research in science, science education, sociology, and multicultural education because of its comprehensive nature and accessibility."

"The book is written in an easy narrative style; the use of anecdotes and real-life examples offers the reader an engaging conversation supported by a wealth of theory and research literature. Although wide in coverage, the book remains succinct, which makes it a highly useable volume."
Horizon Research, Inc

"In writing Equity and Science Education Reform, Lynch contributes significantly to equity and science education...This is a thoughtful and insightful book. I would recommend it to teachers, curriculum specialists, teacher educators, and policymakers. The unique blend of easy readability, national statistics, focused studies, and research-based suggestions make it appropriate for a wide audience."
Science Education

"An original contribution to the area of science and education reform....The author proposes a very sound conceptual framework, well grounded in educational theories, practices, and policies....and provides an excellent balance between theoretical discussion and real world examples which makes the book come alive....The book presents balanced accounts of alternative, sometimes conflicting, views on equity issues within the context of science education reform in general. This is a major accomplishment because equity issues have often been addressed from a particular perspective...without adequate consideration of the complexities in the education system. The author has demonstrated not only the depth and breadth of her knowledge in this area, but also her integrity and courage in tackling rough issues in an honest manner."
Okhee Lee
University of Miami