Article

Troubling Troubled Waters in Elementary Science Education: Politics, Ethics & Black Children’s Conceptions of Water [Justice] in the Era of Flint

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Abstract

The study of water as a K–12 science idea often divorces its properties from its deeply politicized history as a resource that has been limited, compromised, and intentionally withheld from nondominant communities. Although a robust body of scholarship has aptly critiqued decontextualized and depoliticized pedagogies and called for critical science-learning environments designed through the lens of equity, historicity, and power, more insight is needed into how children develop in relation to these design imperatives and within sociopolitical contexts where environmental issues pose a direct threat. We report select findings from a 2-year ethnographic project that investigated Black student agency in a school with a place-based design. Specifically, we hone in on the themes of water and water justice, which inspired the development of a socio-scientific unit enacted in two 4th-/5th-grade classrooms. This unit coincided with the initial spike in public awareness around the still unresolved water crisis in Flint, MI. For this article, we situate the “Flint” module as an illustrative case of justice-centered science pedagogy and analyze Black students’ disciplinary, affective, and sociopolitical understandings. We found that children’s meaning-making shifted from individualized accounts to critical, systemic explanations of environmental justice issues. The saliency of children's affective understandings throughout the unit was also captured. We expound on these findings and conclude with a discussion of implications, particularly as it relates to the ethics and politics of developing critical scientific capacity in young children to confront lived environmental human rights issues.

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... Yet historically, environmental justice has not been prominent in environmental education (Kushmerick et al., 2007). However, in recent decades, attention to justice in environmental education has grown (Calabrese Barton & Tan, 2010;Davis & Schaeffer, 2019;Gallay et al., 2021), the theme is central to some graduate student training (Miller et al., 2021), and leading organizations such as the North American Association of Environmental Education have prioritized issues of justice. ...
... Yet more work may be needed to realize the participatory principles of CS with young children: In a comprehensive review of research on early childhood environmental education from 2004 to 2014, it was common practice for adults to collect, analyze, and interpret data, with scholars only beginning to incorporate children's perspectives (Green, 2015). Concerns about potential risks to mental health from teaching children about environmental harm have been addressed by scholars of elementary science education, who argue that for children from minoritized backgrounds where socioscientific injustices are a daily reality, efforts such as CS that are transparent, supportive, and truthful are critical (Davis & Schaeffer, 2019). ...
... However, for students' solutions to be fully informed, they must be allowed to explore how political decisions (the Flint water crisis is an iconic example) and legacies of environmental racism (e.g., brownfield leftovers from industrial pollution) affect their communities' environmental and public health. In this regard, NGSS fall short because they emphasize the benefits but not the harms of science (Davis & Schaeffer, 2019;Levy et al., 2021;Morales-Doyle et al., 2019). ...
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Article
Civic science (CS) is an approach to science learning and action in which youth determine issues of concern in their communities and use science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) knowledge and methods to address them. In this article, we focus on CS as it is applied to environmental concerns and enacted by children and youth in urban communities. Core CS practices include relevance of local place and culturally responsive principles for youth's learning and community contributions, egalitarian intergenerational partnerships with adults from community‐based organizations, teamwork and collective action, and public regard for youth's community environmental contributions. We discuss CS's potential to address the marginalization of youth from minoritized backgrounds in traditional STEM and environmental education. We also argue that the way CS frames science for the public good will prepare younger generations to meet 21st‐century environmental challenges.
... In recent years, researchers working in the food systems higher education space have called for a signature pedagogy for undergraduate curriculum (Valley et al., 2018;Ebel et al., 2020) that is equity-oriented , values-based (Galt et al., 2012), and student-centered (Galt et al., 2013). We add to this growing body of work by applying the theories of expansive learning (Engeström, 2001;Engeström and Sannino, 2010) and justice-oriented science pedagogy (Morales-Doyle, 2017; Davis and Schaeffer, 2019) to propose that students can learn through their everyday experiences of engaging with their physical and socio-cultural environment, namely the campus food system, by conducting foodscape mapping. ...
... that privileges and is contingent upon students' sociohistorical lives" (2008, p. 149). Likewise, Davis and Schaeffer (2019) state that justice-oriented science pedagogy emphasizes the learning power of students "examin[ing] socio-scientific issues of personal and communal importance" to them (p. 369). ...
... In the context of formal schooling, scholars in K−12 environmental science education offer interventions in the white supremacist underpinnings of a dominant science curriculum that is veiled as "objective, " neutral, and acultural while failing to academically serve low income students and students of color (e.g., Bang and Medin, 2010;Morales-Doyle, 2017;Davis and Schaeffer, 2019). They advocate for a curriculum that recognizes the interconnections between scientific and social worlds and uplifts place-based, communityderived knowledge and lived experience. ...
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Article
Universities and colleges are fertile foodscapes for action-based education. They are physical and socio-cultural sites where pressing food systems problems play out at micro to macro scales. Structural inequities based on race, class, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, dis/ability, and other forms of marginalization affect both access to food and to agri-food learning opportunities. In this article, we propose that students can learn through their everyday experiences of engaging with their physical and socio-cultural environment, namely the campus food system, by conducting foodscape mapping. Since 2015, the University of California Berkeley Food Institute has supported the Foodscape Mapping Project, in which students, staff, and faculty generate food systems knowledge while developing practical interventions to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). We investigate how campus foodscape mapping might generate substantive learning about JEDI in food systems education; the kinds of learning that take place through foodscape mapping; and the educational practices and institutional structures that can support learning through foodscape mapping. We identify at least eight forms and processes of expansive learning that emerged through mapping work, using students' own insights into what they were learning. Finally, we reflect on our learning experiences in running the project, and develop broader design elements that other campuses can apply.
... The exploratory analysis presented in this paper is an exercise in seeing the design of schools through the eyes of children. Black students featured here were learners enrolled in an innovative city school with an articulated commitment to empowering elementary-aged children as intellectuals and critical civic actors (Davis, 2017;Davis & Schaeffer, 2019). The school, here referred to as Mission City School (MCS), 1 was also developed with a place-based, communal mission. ...
... Our commitments to elevating children's voices and questioning power asymmetries in this study are resonant with Mitchell's ( , 1953 arguments for seeing children as capable of complex sensemaking. Children can demonstrate sensitivity and savvy with respect to socio-political dynamics in school and more broadly (Davis, 2017;Davis & Schaeffer, 2019;Lee, 2017). Like , we reject the notion that "[t]he world is too complicated for them to understand" (p.7) and have structured our analysis accordingly. ...
... The exploratory analysis presented in this paper is an exercise in seeing the design of schools through the eyes of children. Black students featured here were learners enrolled in an innovative city school with an articulated commitment to empowering elementary-aged children as intellectuals and critical civic actors (Davis, 2017;Davis & Schaeffer, 2019). The school, here referred to as Mission City School (MCS), 1 was also developed with a place-based, communal mission. ...
... Our commitments to elevating children's voices and questioning power asymmetries in this study are resonant with Mitchell's (1934Mitchell's ( /1991Mitchell's ( , 1953 arguments for seeing children as capable of complex sensemaking. Children can demonstrate sensitivity and savvy with respect to socio-political dynamics in school and more broadly (Davis, 2017;Davis & Schaeffer, 2019;Lee, 2017). Like Mitchell (1934Mitchell ( /1991, we reject the notion that "[t]he world is too complicated for them to understand" (p.7) and have structured our analysis accordingly. ...
... And third, by considering multi-dimensional ways in which sociopolitical contexts are intertwined with scientific inquiry (Davis & Schaeffer, 2019). The interconnectedness of human experience with others, places, colonial and cultural histories, and institutions is centered on such approaches. ...
Thesis
Amid growing interest in the Learning Sciences in issues of ethical and axiological perspectives in educational design, this dissertation seeks to contribute to the literature on complex systems and computational modeling in K-12 education. This work Highlights Guatemala's Non-Western narratives, ethical-historical concerns, educational dignity, and traditional representational Maya practices that informed and re-shaped the design and practice of modeling technologies (computational and non-computational) for complex systems education. This work is informed and advised by the Ixkoj Ajkem Community Council, a Mayan cultural organization that protects the Mayan Weaving Art. I illustrate how teachers engaged in and designed complexity modeling activities for education, integrating traditional ways of life and knowing –while centering dignity and ethical-historical perspectives and concerns with Western practices. My findings illustrate how teachers engaged in Embodied, Computational, and Physical modeling and designed multi-modal representations of interconnectedness in understanding complex, emergent phenomena by centering their traditional and more-than-human epistemologies. En medio del creciente interés en las Ciencias del Aprendizaje en temas de perspectivas éticas y axiológicas o valorativas en el diseño educativo, esta tesis busca contribuir a la literatura educativa sobre sistemas complejos y modelado computacional en la educación, abarcando desde niveles de Preprimaria hasta los Básicos o Secundaria. Este trabajo destaca las narrativas no occidentales, las preocupaciones ético-históricas, la dignidad educativa y las prácticas representativas tradicionales Mayas de Guatemala, que informaron, y dieron forma al diseño y la práctica de las tecnologías de modelado (computacionales y no computacionales) para la educación de sistemas complejos. Este trabajo es avalado y asesorado por el Consejo Comunitario Ixkoj Ajkem, una organización cultural maya que protege el Arte del Tejido Maya. Ilustro cómo las maestras participaron y diseñaron actividades de modelado de complejidad para la educación, integrando formas tradicionales de vida y conocimiento, mientras centraban la dignidad y las perspectivas e inquietudes ético-históricas, dentro de las prácticas occidentales de modelado, y dentro de sus propios diseños. Mis hallazgos ilustran cómo las maestras se involucraron en actividades de modelado Corporeizado, Computacional y Físico. Y diseñaron representaciones multimodales de interconexión, para comprender fenómenos complejos, y emergentes, centradas en los valores, experiencias tradicionales y epistemologías del mundo que nos rodea.
... And third, by considering multi-dimensional ways in which sociopolitical contexts are intertwined with scientific inquiry (Davis & Schaeffer, 2019). The interconnectedness of human experience with others, places, colonial and cultural histories, and institutions is centered on such approaches. ...
Full-text available
Thesis
Amid growing interest in the Learning Sciences in issues of ethical and axiological perspectives in educational design, this dissertation seeks to contribute to the literature on complex systems and computational modeling in K-12 education. This work Highlights Guatemala's Non-Western narratives, ethical-historical concerns, educational dignity, and traditional representational Maya practices that informed and re-shaped the design and practice of modeling technologies (computational and non-computational) for complex systems education. This work is informed and advised by the Ixkoj Ajkem Community Council, a Mayan cultural organization that protects the Mayan Weaving Art. I illustrate how teachers engaged in and designed complexity modeling activities for education, integrating traditional ways of life and knowing –while centering dignity and ethical-historical perspectives and concerns with Western practices. My findings illustrate how teachers engaged in Embodied, Computational, and Physical modeling and designed multi-modal representations of interconnectedness in understanding complex, emergent phenomena by centering their traditional and more-than-human epistemologies. [En medio del creciente interés en las Ciencias del Aprendizaje en temas de perspectivas éticas y axiológicas o valorativas en el diseño educativo, esta tesis busca contribuir a la literatura educativa sobre sistemas complejos y modelado computacional en la educación, abarcando desde niveles de Preprimaria hasta los Básicos o Secundaria. Este trabajo destaca las narrativas no occidentales, las preocupaciones ético-históricas, la dignidad educativa y las prácticas representativas tradicionales Mayas de Guatemala, que informaron, y dieron forma al diseño y la práctica de las tecnologías de modelado (computacionales y no-computacionales) para la educación de sistemas complejos. Este trabajo es avalado y asesorado por el Consejo Comunitario Ixkoj Ajkem, una organización cultural maya que protege el Arte del Tejido Maya. Ilustro cómo las maestras participaron y diseñaron actividades de modelado de complejidad para la educación, integrando formas tradicionales de vida y conocimiento, mientras centraban la dignidad y las perspectivas e inquietudes ético-históricas, dentro de las prácticas occidentales de modelado, y dentro de sus propios diseños. Mis hallazgos ilustran cómo las maestras se involucraron en actividades de modelado Corporeizado, Computacional y Físico. Y diseñaron representaciones multimodales de interconexión, para comprender fenómenos complejos, y emergentes, centradas en los valores, experiencias tradicionales y epistemologías del mundo que nos rodea.]
... Through ethnographic research in Appalachian counties, Schafft and Biddle (2015) found that, although not formally part of the school curriculum, the socioeconomic issues around water entered schools as adolescents decided whether to pursue the transient, but high-paying, jobs in the natural gas sector. Placed-based science education evokes emotions (Jaber & Hammer, 2016), and water education can evoke anger and distrust (Davis & Schaeffer, 2019). ...
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Conference Paper
From a design-based research study with 31 families, we share the design conjectures that guided the first two iterations of research. The team developed a mobile augmented reality app focused on water-rock interactions to make earth sciences appealing to rural families. We iterated on one design element, the augmented reality visualizations, to understand how these AR elements influence families' learning behavior in a children's garden cave as well as their resulting geosciences knowledge. This analysis is an example of how design conjecture maps can be used to support research and development of mobile computer-supported collaborative learning opportunities for families in outdoor, informal learning settings.
... The remainder of the intervention studies used materials and/or methods that were innovative. Examples include those described as inquiry-oriented, e.g., Condon and Wichowsky [10] and Halsey Randall [49] conducted in the US and Coban et al. [40] in Turkey; a science, technology, and society (STS) approach implemented in Finland by Havu-Nuutinen et al. [41]; the use of cartoons in Oman to raise awareness of water issues among grade 4 children [42]; and a study by Davis and Schaeffer [43] to critically engage Black children in socio-scientific explorations of water and water access in relation to the water crisis in Flint, MI, in the US. In general, these more innovative interventions resulted in the students gaining a sense of agency to affect changes in their own, their family's, and their community's behaviors. ...
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Article
The lack of readily available sources of potable water is major problem in many parts of the world. This project engaged high school (HS) students in authentic and meaningful science and engineering activities to teach them about the lack and poor quality of potable water in many regions and how they can be addressed through the use of point of use (POU) treatments, such as biosand filters (BSFs). The HS students’ activities paralleled those of USF students, including research question development and BSF design, construction, operation, and monitoring. An ethnographic approach was utilized by incorporating participant observation, collection and review of artifacts, and interviews. It was found that the project’s focus on the need to provide potable water in the developing world provided authenticity and meaningfulness to the HS students, which encouraged their participation in activities and the learning of science and engineering practices. The HS students reported an awareness of the differences between this project and their regular science classes. The project had a positive impact on their perceptions of themselves as scientists and their interest in STEM careers. The HS students’ results were useful to the university-based research. In addition, the USF students gained teaching experience while investigating research questions in a low-stakes environment.
... To conceptualize justice in these sites, activists engage in counter-hegemonic and nondisciplinary practices that support them becoming politicized (Curnow et al., 2019). In organizing spaces, disciplinary knowledge has been both used and critiqued as a tool for advancing narratives that served the goals of campaigns (e.g., Davis & Schaeffer, 2019;Scipio, 2014). These critical disciplinary practices are not limited to collective action in campaigns, but have also been successfully cultivated in formal educational spaces designed to support consciousness-raising and democratic participation (e.g., Kirshner, 2015;Smirnov et al., 2018). ...
... How, if at all, might the work of Learning Scientists take into account and become responsive to the histories of empire and contemporary processes that have shaped the lives of colonized peoples and their diasporas? We hope that the lens of empire and imperialism might provide an intersectional analysis with emerging scholarship in the Learning Sciences that brings into focus a critical examination of race (Pham & Philip, 2020;Philip et al., 2016), anti-Blackness (Davis & Schaeffer, 2019;McKinney de Royston & Nasir, 2017), settler colonialism (Bang & Marin, 2015), and cisheteronormativity (Paré et al., 2020;Uttamchandani, in press). As a starting point, learning in the disciplines is to be in solidarity with people who do disciplinary work, and more importantly, with people whose labor is hidden through the mechanisms of imperialism while making disciplinary work possible. ...
Article
Background We outline a case for how the Learning Sciences is at a powerful inflection point where the “real world” needs to be seen as comprised of the political entities and processes in which learning happens. We seek to sharpen the principle that learning is political by elucidating historical and contemporary processes of European and U.S. imperialism that remain foundational to our field and by developing the argument that theories of learning are theories of society. Methods Through a contrapuntal approach, which emphasizes a critical lens to analyze empire, we juxtapose notions of authentic practice in computing education with scholarship in sociology that brings the lives of tech industry immigrant workers to the fore. Findings Our analysis reveals how the social construction of disciplinary and professional expertise in computing is intricately interwoven with historically persistent patterns of the appropriation of the lives and labor of endarkened people through systems of transnational migration and institutional forms of racial segregation. Contribution A contrapuntal lens in the Learning Sciences prompts our field to embrace the necessary uncertainties and the theoretical and methodological possibilities that emerge when sites of learning and learning itself are recognized as political and as contestations of empire.
... Through processes of "placemaking" in learning settings, affect can sustain the communities that make learning possible (Ehret & Hollett, 2016). In justice-oriented pedagogy, emotion can help learners make sense of politics and ethics in relation to traditional disciplinary knowledge (Davis & Schaeffer, 2019). ...
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Article
Background: Learning sciences researchers, including those in the sociocultural tradition, often address emotion on motivation’s terms, as a condition or quality of being that propels or mediates learning activity. Other times, emotion remains implicit in analyses of learning. Methods: Toward a more robust theorization of the relationship between learning and emotion, I present a sociocultural analysis of ethnographic fieldnotes and interviews with animal rights activists. Findings: I present a sociocultural practice view on emotion, introducing “emotional configurations” to denote how emotion, rather than comprising universal and internal states, only becomes meaningful through entanglement with sense-making and situated practice in social activity. Analysis reveals two modes for emotion in learning: (1) as a condition of learning that drives learning along and (2) as a target of teaching and learning in its own right. I name “guided emotion participation” as a genre of activity that approaches emotional configurations as a learning target. Contribution: Integrating sociocultural practice theory with emotion research provides new tools for analyzing emotion in learning. This study highlights how emotion is subject to norms, ideology, and power relations. For researchers studying the politics of learning, this study demonstrates how emotion shapes political possibilities and collective action as learning phenomena.
... To help illuminate the relationships between self-determination and learning, we draw from sociocultural perspectives on appropriation and agency within educational environments, and from scholarship advancing political and ethical perspectives within the learning sciences (Bang & Marin, 2015;Esmonde & Booker, 2016;Politics of Learning Writing Collective, 2017;Tzou, Bell, LaBonte, Starks, & Bang, 2019;Zavala, 2018). These perspectives recognize potential contradictions between (settled) disciplinary domains and children's everyday experiences and ways of knowing (Bang et al., 2012;Davis & Schaeffer, 2019;Gutierrez et al., 1995;Nasir et al., 2006). Here, child development encompasses wider forms of participation, to include how children engage in various forms of onto-epistemic navigation (Bang et al., 2012) and "tackle and resolve those real contradictions in the world, both intellectually and practically" (Il'enkov, 1977, as cited in Engeström, 1996. ...
Article
This paper argues for an amplification of the everyday intellectual and political gestures of children as valuable indices and movers of learning. We identify and focus on microacts of self-determination, defined here as, “as contestations and moves to elsewhere that shift activity and dictate future status”. In particular, we consider if and how such microacts that could be cast as idiosyncratic build and shape new possibilities for learning and social interaction, what we refer to here as learning from below. Learning from below reflects an effort to move beyond the binary of individual versus collective activity and to situate scholarship on social and historical movements and forms of decolonial insurgency as germane to sociocultural and interactional studies of learning. Drawing from an extensive data set which included ethnographic fieldnotes, semi-structured interviews, and over 70 hours of video data collected from an after-school community tinkering program, we found that children's everyday forms of self-determination were much more than individual acts; they emerge from social histories and carried future potentialities that shaped learning and intellectual life within the setting. This central finding is anchored in an analysis of over 600 examples, as well as two cases that look more closely at individual children's participation.
... On the other hand, in recent years there has been widespread criticism, especially in educational policies and in the processes of teaching and learning [24], in relation to teaching on the environment, with emphasis on the preservation and care of water establishing itself as a proposal for the development of critical learning environments that make students aware of its importance [25]. The literature reveals that there is a relationship between the daily reality of household water use and the perception of its rational use [26]. ...
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Article
Water literacy has become a fundamental aspect in today’s society, as its conservation, preservation and management is key to ensuring human survival. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the effectiveness of flipped learning methodology on a traditional training practice in water literacy at the first level of secondary education. The flipped learning method consisted in providing the contents to the students before the class sessions, encouraging an active learning. A descriptive study was adopted with two experimental groups, two control groups and only post-test. An ad hoc questionnaire was used as an instrument to measure the parameters: Socio-educational, Motivation, Interactions, Autonomy, Collaboration; Deepening of contents; Problem solving, Class time and Ratings. The final sample was composed of 120 students, divided into four groups of 30 students each. The application of the treatment in the experimental groups lasted 10 sessions of 55 min. The results indicate that the use of time in class, the autonomy and the deepening of the contents were the aspects that improved most with the flipped learning approach. However, no significant differences in ratings were found. Finally, the main findings and their implications for water literacy are discussed.
... Justice-oriented disciplinary teaching counters these erasures by centering and amplifying the "plural and evolving nature of youth identity and cultural practices" toward their "counterhegemonic potential" (Paris & Alim, 2014, p. 85). It foregrounds the political and humanizing dimensions of teaching/learning, which values students as whole people, whose knowledge/wisdom, experiences, and fraught histories are integral to disciplinary engagement (Davis & Schaeffer, 2019). Justice-oriented disciplinary teaching also foregrounds supporting students in developing critical awareness of and strategies for navigating and transforming current and hoped-for social futures (Morales-Doyle, 2017;Rubel, 2017). ...
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Article
Justice-oriented teaching must address how classroom-based disciplinary learning is shaped by interactions among local practice and systems of privilege and oppression. Our work advances current scholarship on high-leverage practices [HLPs] by emphasizing the need for teaching practices that restructure power relations in classrooms and their intersections with historicized injustice in local practice as a part of disciplinary learning. Drawing upon a critical justice stance, and long-term collaborative work with middle school teachers and youth, we report on empirically driven insights into patterns-in-practice in teaching which yield insight into both what justice-oriented high-leverage practices may be, and the cross-cutting ideals which undergird them. We discuss the patterns-in-practice and their implications for teaching and learning across subject areas: HLPs that work toward equitable and consequential ends need to be understood in terms of the practice itself and its individual and collective impact on classroom life.
... One clear example plays out through Davis's and Schaeffer's (2019) "Troubling Troubled Waters in Elementary Science Education: Politics, Ethics & Black Children's Conceptions of Water [Justice] in the Era of Flint." As shown in Figure 8, the children in this elementary classroom are engaged in a debate about the right to water. ...
Chapter
The need to critically engage learners whether the classroom space is traditional, hybrid, or virtual is one of the most pressing educational issues teachers face today. Engaging learners specifically in an online environment requires the examination of both the content being taught as well as the methods or pedagogical models used to deliver the content. This chapter highlights how both the content, and the delivery can be filtered in ways that are relevant to the learners, that value their home and community assets, and that provide them with tangible touch points to transfer classroom information into the real world to maximize student engagement. The core of this chapter focuses on the use of Socratic Seminars as a means of engaging learning through targeted and purposeful conversations around social justice issues. This chapter demonstrates how the original tenets of Socratic Seminar can be used to present content in a manner that leverages students' cultural and linguistic wealth, develops personal and social identities, and builds critical competencies and global awareness in all learners. Specific connections between justice oriented Socratic Seminar, anti-bias teaching frameworks, and online learning environments are made.
Article
Research has recommended centering health disparities to make science instruction relevant to students from minoritized racial and ethnic groups. While promoted as a recent innovation, the repurposing of science instruction to improve the health of demographic groups has a longer history traceable to segregated and colonial schooling. Using a historicizing approach, this study explores how certain U.S. science classrooms have become clinics of preventative care aimed at transforming groups into healthy citizens. Analysis identifies how U.S. science education studies have used psychological, sociological, and anthropological lenses to divide students into populations, classifying some as needing intervention to improve their minds (e.g., basic health knowledge), home lives (e.g., daily habits), and cultural beliefs (e.g., attitudes toward science and medicine). Through systematic analysis of U.S. science education journals and sources cited therein, I map shifts over three periods: the rise of urban, segregated, and colonial schooling (1901–45), postwar desegregation and international development (1946–89), and equity reforms (1990–2021). Despite declines in deficit language, analysis suggests the intervention space of the science‐class‐as‐clinic still demarcates groups as not yet fully reasoning, self‐regulating, or agentic, and as needing the applied relevance of preventative health. Paradoxically, efforts to redress disparities may reinsert older distinctions by positing groups as educationally and medically at‐risk—implicitly locating inequities within students rather than the unjust systemic conditions they face. I conclude with implications for research and practice, highlighting approaches that do not treat educational and health inequities as problems to be fixed in the child, family, or community. (Open access here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/sce.21756)
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While issues of (in)justice in K12 STEM learning have garnered increasing attention, limited research has attended to learning as social-spatial transformation. We draw upon a justice-oriented framework of equitably consequential learning to call attention to how learning and engagement in K12 STEM is rooted in the history and geographies of young people’s lives. Without attention to the ways in which learning is an historicized and sociopolitical activity, efforts to address seemingly intractable equity challenges in K12 STEM education across the intersections of racial and class inequality will remain elusive. Using data from middle school classroom studies focused on engineering for sustainable communities, where community ethnography is central to engineering design, we investigate the social-spatial relationalities that minoritized youth bring to engineering design, and how relationalities may support youth in transforming oppressive knowledge and power structures toward equitably consequential learning. Findings reveal that organizing learning engineering design around youths’ rich everyday experiences and community wisdom through community ethnography, addressed hyperlocal, sociopolitical community challenges. As a result, the social-spatial terrain upon which subject-object relations are enacted shifted, expanding the discourses, practices and outcomes of middle school engineering design that were legitimized. Making present this power-mediated terrain makes visible the often hidden, but ever present, unjust school-based relationalities, enabling them to be re-mediated in justice-oriented ways. Paying attention to social-spatial relationalities reveal (1) the multiple scales of activity, (2) inter-scalar mobilities and interactions, and (3) possible resultant impacts of such interactions that further affect activity at each scale. We discuss implications for how theories of equitably consequential learning can be advanced through the frame of social-spatial justice.
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Este artigo traz reflexões de crianças que, junto com adultos, atuam em movimentos de luta por outro modo de viver e de morar em um território conhecido como Mercado Sul VIVE, em Taguatinga, no Distrito Federal, Brasil. A partir de um trabalho etnográfico acerca de suas brincadeiras, procura-se explorar as potencialidades de suas reflexões e de suas intervenções em um mundo no qual a propriedade privada não ameace a vida e suas potencialidades. Intenta-se demonstrar a constituição lúdica de sua formação política e o poder transformador da brincadeira diante de violentas experiências de segregação espacial e punição estatal.
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This study is a two‐iteration design‐based research project that investigated how youths’ science learning and socio‐emotional attitudes toward science were influenced by a summer camp with a personal genetics approach. A multidisciplinary team developed a 2‐week camp curriculum that included personal DNA tests, family genealogy projects, and fitness tracker data. The learners included 120 youths, aged 10–14, in six camps held in three sites. Data collection included matched pre‐ and post‐scores for genetic knowledge and self‐reported affiliation with science, views of science supports, self‐efficacy, and science curiosity scores, as well as youths’ daily workbook entries. Our analysis included t‐tests, Mann–Whitney tests, Pearson and Spearman correlations, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc tests. The findings showed significant science learning gains (related to heredity, genotype, and phenotype) for five of six camp conditions. Also, the youths showed gains in socio‐emotional attitudes for both iterations, emphasizing malleability of socio‐emotional connections to science. Completing workbook pages was not associated with an increase in knowledge gains or socio‐emotional attitudes. This study recommends the inclusion of personal DNA data in summer camp environments to support science learning and increase socio‐emotional attitudes toward science. It also suggests structured workbook activities common in schools may not support youths’ science learning or socio‐emotional attitudes in out‐of‐school programs. Finally, the study's concluding design conjecture map connects the camps’ activities to learners’ behaviors to learning outcomes in a way that advances the informal science education field's use of personal data in out‐of‐school‐time programs for adolescents.
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In science education, there has been a sustained focus on supporting the emergence of science practices in K–12 and field‐based settings. Recent work has elevated the integral role of emotion in sparking and sustaining such disciplinary practices, deepening the field's understanding of what is entailed in “doing” science. Yet even as we gain this richer understanding of practice, less attention has been given to the places where practice emerges. These places play a critical role in the co‐emergence of emotion and practice, and while separate strands of research have elevated emotion and practice or, alternately, place and practice, rarely has their dynamic relationship been considered together. In this article, I explore this interplay of emotion, place, and practice emergent in children's sampling practices within a multiweek curriculum centered around their schoolyard soil ecosystem. Through a comparative case study analysis of two student pairs using video data, student interviews, and classroom artifacts, my analysis reveals how children's emergent emotion was entangled in their relationships with the schoolyard and life within, shaping not only how they engaged in sampling practices but also what dimensions of the ecological system they attended to. I argue that emotion and place should be central to the design, teaching, and analysis of learning contexts, in turn centering the social and emplaced dimensions of science disciplinary practices for children and scientists alike. Implications for science teaching and learning are discussed, with particular consideration of field‐based sciences.
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This article analyzes how guns emerged as both urgent topics of dialogue and common features of everyday life for 228 students and their teachers in six communities across the United States who participated in the Digital Democratic Dialogue (3D) Project, a year long social design-based experiment aimed at foregrounding youth voice and fostering connection across lines of geographic and ideological difference. We trace the myriad ways that guns literally and discursively shaped the multiple ecological contexts of the 3D Project in order to detail youth sociopolitical learning and extend traditional models of civic education. We propose a paradigm of speculative civic literacies that privileges a collaborative push toward democratic interrogation and innovation over integration into existing civic and political structures.
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Due to the shortcomings of traditional schools, innovative supplementary (e.g. out-of-school, summer) programs have been identified as important sites for the positive development and learning of Black youth. This study foregrounds Black youth perspectives to offer additional insight into the role of supplementary programming. Drawing from 15 semi-structured, pre-post interviews with Black youth participating in a six-week summer CDF Freedom Schools program, we analyzed core distinctions drawn between youths’ experiences in the program and in their traditional schools. Black youth attested to how the program expanded opportunities for them to express themselves, build community, engage in critical structural analyses, and imagine sociopolitical possibilities beyond the constraints of the present. We conclude with a discussion of implications, with an eye toward further specifying the types of educational contexts required to counteract detrimental aspects of traditional schooling and cultivate dispositions toward more just futures.
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In this article, it is argued that processes of co‐production can support teachers and students in organizing resources for justice through science learning. Drawing upon a critical justice conceptual framework, critical ethnographic data from one urban middle school classroom during a unit focused on engineering for sustainable communities were analyzed. Findings describe how processes of co‐production yielded new Discourse threads focused on sustainability, whose ideas matter, and empathy, which were embodied in students' engineered artifacts and how students talked about using those artifacts. Such embodiment positioned students as rightfully present and powerful experts in science and engineering. We discuss how processes of co‐production supported justice by supporting new social relationships between the teacher and students that helped to make space for collective engagement of students' political struggles against the oppressive practices of schooling as an integral part of science learning.
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While the story of the Flint water crisis has been shared widely, the popular narrative—described in multiple documentaries and as evidenced by accolades heaped upon a limited few number of actors involved with Flint—largely leaves out the broad experiences and actions of Flint residents in responding to the crisis, raising awareness, and advocating for change. Academic literature has contributed to reinforcing an abbreviated and disempowered version of the narrative where Flint residents needed rescue. In this article, we present an extended description of the Flint water crisis leading up to the water switch in April 2014, including descriptions of community mobilization efforts to call government actions into account and produce investigations that validated the concerns of the residents. We offer a review of prominent academic literature demonstrating patterns of erasure that suggest Flint residents were disempowered. In response, we offer three examples which demonstrate how Flint resident mobilizations have broad historical context, national reach, and individual actions that contradict the narrative that Flint residents lack agency and power. In our analysis, rather than viewing Flint residents as in need of rescue by science, we argue that the community mobilization in Flint is indicative of a highly successful implementation of popular epidemiology with profound effects on national conversations about lead in water, drinking water infrastructure management, and environmental justice. This article is categorized under: • Human Water Abstract Flint residents' community mobilization efforts around the Flint Water Crisis viewed within a popular epidemiology frame
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This study examines the development of secondary preservice science teachers’ (PSTs’) sociopolitical understandings in the context of a yearlong, masters-level, justice-oriented teacher education program. It articulates a theoretical perspective regarding teachers’ conceptions of the work-of-teaching in terms of pedagogical and disciplinary commitments. These conceptions are ideological links between classroom practices and teachers’ understanding of the sociopolitical context of their work. Teachers’ conceptions include how they view their and their students’ agency to gain access to enabling structures or dissent against oppressive structures that contribute to inequity in science education. The embedded case study design with 10 PSTs draws on various data sources from three time periods, and several types of experiences, in the teacher education program. A focus on four cases illustrates how PSTs rearticulated ideological committments in ways that have direct implications for the development of their practice and also connections to the content areas they teach. One case reinforces that teachers may begin to reject deficit views and embrace their agency by learning about the ways in which racism structures society. Another case shows how PSTs’ political clarity may be pushed in the direction of understanding multiple forms of oppression as structural. Together, the four cases illuminate an ideological component to content area teaching, or content area considerations in teachers’ ideological committments. Science teachers may develop sophisticated views of their work by analyzing their disciplines and curriculum as structures that are subject to the same critiques levied against other social structures. While PSTs did not feel that justice-centered pedagogies were within their full reach at the end of the program, they moved from aiming to demonstrate to students the utility, value, and importance of content areas toward exploring the relevance of the content areas with students.
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Background Within mathematics education research, policy, and practice, race remains undertheorized in relation to mathematics learning and participation. Although race is characterized in the sociological and critical theory literatures as socially and politically constructed with structural expressions, most studies of differential outcomes in mathematics education begin and end their analyses of race with static racial categories and group labels used for the sole purpose of disaggregating data. This inadequate framing is, itself, reflective of a racialization process that continues to legitimize the social devaluing and stigmatization of many students of color. I draw from my own research with African American adults and adolescents, as well as recent research on the mathematical experiences of African American students conducted by other scholars. I also draw from the sociological and critical theory literatures to examine the ways that race and racism are conceptualized in the larger social context and in ways that are informative for mathematics education researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. Purpose To review and critically analyze how the construct of race has been conceptualized in mathematics education research, policy, and practice. Research Design Narrative synthesis. Conclusion Future research and policy efforts in mathematics education should examine racialized inequalities by considering the socially constructed nature of race.
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In this study, we present a case for designing expansive science learning environments in relation to neoliberal instantiations of standards-based implementation projects in education. Using ethnographic and design-based research methods, we examine how the design of coordinated learning across settings can engage youth from non-dominant communities in scientific and engineering practices, resulting in learning experiences that are more relevant to youth and their communities. Analyses highlight: (a) transformative moments of identification for one fifth-grade student across school and non-school settings; (b) the disruption of societal, racial stereotypes on the capabilities of and expectations for marginalized youth; and (c) how youth recognized themselves as members of their community and agents of social change by engaging in personally consequential science investigations and learning.
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The failure by the city of Flint, Michigan to properly treat its municipal water system after a change in the source of water, has resulted in elevated lead levels in the city's water and an increase in city children's blood lead levels. Lead exposure in young children can lead to decrements in intelligence, development, behavior, attention and other neurological functions. This lack of ability to provide safe drinking water represents a failure to protect the public's health at various governmental levels. This article describes how the tragedy happened, how low-income and minority populations are at particularly high risk for lead exposure and environmental injustice, and ways that we can move forward to prevent childhood lead exposure and lead poisoning, as well as prevent future Flint-like exposure events from occurring. Control of the manufacture and use of toxic chemicals to prevent adverse exposure to these substances is also discussed. Environmental injustice occurred throughout the Flint water contamination incident and there are lessons we can all learn from this debacle to move forward in promoting environmental justice.
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Data visualizations are now commonplace in the public media. The ability to interpret and create such visualizations, as a form of data literacy, is increasingly important for democratic participation. Yet, the cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills needed to produce and use data visualizations and to develop data literacy are not fluidly integrated into traditional K–12 subject areas. In this article, we nuance and complicate the push for data literacy in STEM reform efforts targeting youth of color. We explore a curricular reform project that integrated explicit attention to issues pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation, representation, visualization, and communication of data in an introductory computer science class. While the study of data in this unit emphasized viewing and approaching data in context, neither the teacher nor the students were supported in negotiating the racialized context of data that emerged in classroom discussions. To better understand these dynamics, we detail the construct of racial literacy and develop an interpretative framework of racial-ideological micro-contestations. Through an in-depth analysis of a classroom interaction using this framework, we explore how contestations about race can emerge when data visualizations from the public media are incorporated into STEM learning precisely because the contexts of data are often racialized. We argue that access to learning about data visualization, without a deep interrogation of race and power, can be counterproductive and that efforts to develop authentic data literacy require the concomitant development of racial literacy.
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The lead poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water is popularly framed as a case of “environmental racism” given that Flint’s population is mostly black and lower income. In this essay I argue that we see the environmental racism that underlies Flint’s water poisoning not as incidental to our political-economic order, nor even as stemming from racist intent, but as inseparable from liberalism, an organizing logic we take for granted in our modern age. I expand on the idea of “racial liberalism” here. While upholding the promise of individual freedoms and equality for all, racial liberalism—particularly as it was translated into urban renewal and property making in mid-20th-century urban America—drove dispossession. In Flint racialized property dispossession has been one major factor underlying the city’s financial duress, abandonment, and poisoned infrastructure. Yet, through austerity discourse, Flint is disciplined as if it were a financially reckless individual while the structural and historical causes of its duress are masked. Tracing the history of property making and taking in Flint and the effects of austerity urbanism on its water infrastructure, my central argument is that our understanding of Flint’s predicament—the disproportionate poisoning of young African-Americans—can be deepened if we read it as a case of racial liberalism’s illiberal legacies.
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In this essay, Shirin Vossoughi, Paula Hooper, and Meg Escudé advance a critique of branded, culturally normative definitions of making and caution against their uncritical adoption into the educational sphere. The authors argue that the ways making and equity are conceptualized can either restrict or expand the possibility that the growing maker movement will contribute to intellectually generative and liberatory educational experiences for working-class students and students of color. After reviewing various perspectives on making as educative practice, they present a framework that treats the following principles as starting points for equity-oriented research and design: critical analyses of educational injustice; historicized approaches to making as cross-cultural activity; explicit attention to pedagogical philosophies and practices; and ongoing inquiry into the sociopolitical values and purposes of making. These principles are grounded in their own research and teaching in the Tinkering Afterschool Program as well as in the insights and questions raised by critical voices both inside and outside the maker movement.
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While a science of design (and theory of learning) is certainly useful in design-based research, a participatory design research framework presents an opening for learning scientists to rethink design and learning as processes. Grounded in the autoethnographic investigation of a grassroots organization's design of a local campaign, the author traces the successive transformations of design artifacts, delineating a narrative character to design within grassroots spaces. One major lesson is that centering the question of participation is not just about including historically marginalized peoples at the core of design; it has the potential to “desettle” projects at a fundamental level, challenging dominant epistemologies that inform the practices of learning scientists, and thus transforming the field in ways that have yet to be systematically explored. More broadly, this study highlights the need for future research on design practices as they take form within understudied spaces, such as grassroots organizations.
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What are the origins of educational rights? In this essay, Espinoza and Vossoughi assert that educational rights are "produced," "affirmed," and "negated" not only through legislative and legal channels but also through an evolving spectrum of educational activities embedded in everyday life. Thus, they argue that the "heart" of educational rights the very idea that positive educative experiences resulting in learning are a human entitlement irrespective of social or legal status has come to inhere in the educational experiences of persons subjected to social degradation and humiliation. After examining key moments in the African American educational rights experience as composite historical products, the authors determine that learning is "dignity-conferring" and "rights-generative." They revisit African slave narratives, testimony from landmark desegregation cases, and foundational texts in the history of African American education where they find luminous first-person accounts of intellectual activity in the shadow of sanction, suppression, discouragement, and punishment. They conclude by outlining an empirical framework for studying the nexus of learning, dignity, and educational rights from a social interactional perspective.
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In this open letter, Eve Tuck calls on communities, researchers, and educators to reconsider the long-term impact of "damage-centered" research—research that intends to document peoples' pain and brokenness to hold those in power accountable for their oppression. This kind of research operates with a flawed theory of change: it is often used to leverage reparations or resources for marginalized communities yet simultane-ously reinforces and reinscribes a one-dimensional notion of these people as depleted, ruined, and hopeless. Tuck urges communities to institute a moratorium on damage-centered research to reformulate the ways research is framed and conducted and to reimagine how findings might be used by, for, and with communities. Dear Readers, Greetings! I write to you from a little desk in my light-filled house in New York State, my new home after living in Brooklyn for the past eleven years. Today, New York does not seem so far from St. Paul Island, one of the Pribilof Islands of the Aleutian chain in Alaska, where my family is from and where my relations continue to live. Something about writing this letter closes the gap between these disparate places I call home. I write to you about home, about our communities. I write to identify a per-sistent trend in research on Native communities, city communities, and other disenfranchised communities—what I call damage-centered research. I invite you to join me in re-visioning research in our communities not only to recog-nize the need to document the effects of oppression on our communities but also to consider the long-term repercussions of thinking of ourselves as broken. This is an open letter addressed to educational researchers and practi-tioners concerned with fostering and maintaining ethical relationships with disenfranchised and dispossessed communities and all of those troubled by the possible hidden costs of a research strategy that frames entire communi-ties as depleted.
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This article is a call to the research community to look again at the "everyday" or communitybased meaning-making practices—ways of seeing, knowing, talking, acting, valuing, representing—that African American students K-12 use routinely in navigating everyday life out of school and how these relate to learning and achievement in science and mathematics in school Furthermore, the author asserts that research of this kind will have broader impacts by providing new ways of understanding the linguistic, intellectual, social, emotional, and experiential resources that facilitate STEM learning and academic achievement of African American students K-12.
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The organization of embodied participation frameworks, stance and affect is investigated using as data a sequence in which a father is helping his daughter do homework. Through the way in which they position their bodies toward both each other and the homework sheet that is the focus of their work the two contest the interactive and cognitive organization of the activity they are pursuing together. The father insisted that their work be organized in a way that would allow him to demonstrate the practices required to solve her problems. However the daughter refused to rearrange her body to organize the participation framework that would make this possible, and demanded instead that Father tell her the answers. When the daughter consistently refused to cooperate Father eventually walked out, but returned later, and they constructed a very different affective and cognitive alignment. Such phenomena shed light on range of different kinds of epistemic, moral and affective stances that are central to both the organization of cognition and action, and to how participants constitute themselves as particular kinds of social and moral actors in the midst of the mundane activities that constitute daily family life.
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This article investigates the development of agency in science among low-income urban youth aged 10 to 14 as they participated in a voluntary year-round program on green energy technologies conducted at a local community club in a midwestern city. Focusing on how youth engaged a summer unit on understanding and modeling the relationship between energy use and the health of the urban environment, we use ethnographic data to discuss how the youth asserted themselves as community science experts in ways that took up and broke down the contradictory roles of being a producer and a critic of science/education. Our findings suggest that youth actively appropriate project activities and tools in order to challenge the types of roles and student voice traditionally available to students in the classroom.
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What does it mean to create? Who or what could be said to create? God? Artists? Evolution? Markets? The Dialectic? Do things “just happen” and if so is that a kind of creativity? Taking storytelling as its point of reference, this essay considers the notion of creativity as it applies both to the productions of the human imagination, especially stories, and to the self-making of the material universe. I define creativity broadly as the bringing forth of new material, linguistic, or conceptual formations or the transformation of existing ones and as calling, not for a “cultural poetics,” but for a more broadly conceived poetics of making (poesis, in its most inclusive sense), encompassing both the natural and cultural realms as conventionally designated, a poetics capable of articulating the stories human beings tell with cosmogonies detailing the coming-to-being of the physical universe. Extending the purview of creativity beyond the human realm to include the processes shaping the material universe allows us to envision creativity itself in terms of a generative multiplicity that resists articulation in binary oppositional terms and that demands therefore to be thought as ontologically prior to any possible differentiation between the domains of nature and culture, or between reality and its cultural–linguistic representations, challenging us to reimagine not only the relationship between nature and culture but also the problematic of representation that continues to inform much work in the humanities and social sciences. Such a reimagining might proceed precisely from an enlarged understanding of creativity—and in particular of storytelling—and I consider some of the epistemic and writerly implications of this claim for anthropology as a discipline concerned preeminently with exploring and documenting the varieties of human being-in-the-world.
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Longstanding inequities in science education across the lines of race and class remain the most intractable problem in the field. Justice-centered science pedagogy is introduced as a theoretical framework built on the traditions of critical pedagogy and culturally relevant pedagogy to address these inequities as components of larger oppressive systems. This study examines how a justice-centered advanced chemistry class in an urban neighborhood high school supported students to succeed academically while taking up urgent issues of social and environmental justice identified by their communities. The findings include evidence that curriculum organized around an issue of environmental racism supported academic achievement that exceeded the expectations of a typical high school chemistry course. The findings also document how the curriculum provided opportunities for students to move beyond academic achievement to position themselves as transformative intellectuals. As transformative intellectuals, students demonstrated complex thinking about science and social justice issues, cultivated their commitment to their communities and cultures of origin, and developed credibility as local youth knowledgeable in science. These findings have implications for teachers, teacher educators, and educational researchers who wish to engage with science education as a catalyst for social transformation.
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Drawing on critical childhood studies, Michael J. Dumas and Joseph Derrick Nelson argue that Black boyhood is socially unimagined and unimaginable, largely due to the devalued position and limited consideration of Black girls and boys within the broader social conception of childhood. In addition, the "crisis" focus of the public discourse on Black males-focused as it is on adult Black men-makes it difficult to authentically see young Black boys as human beings in and of themselves. A critical reimagining of Black boyhood, the authors contend, demands that educators, policy makers, and community advocates pursue pedagogical and policy interventions that create spaces for Black boys to construct and experience robust childhoods. Further, a (re)commitment to critical research on Black boyhood should inspire inquiry that asks young Black boys who they are, what they think, and what they desire in their lives now.
Chapter
In this chapter, we argue that learning and teaching are fundamentally cultural processes (Cole, 1996; Lee, 2008; Lee, Spencer, & Harpalani, 2003; Nasir & Bang, 2012; Rogoff, 2003). The learning sciences have not yet adequately addressed the ways that culture is integral to learning. By culture, we mean the constellations of practices communities have historically developed and dynamically shaped in order to accomplish the purposes they value, including tools they use, social networks with which they are connected, ways they organize joint activity, and their ways of conceptualizing and engaging with the world. In this view, learning and development can be seen as the acquisition throughout the life course of diverse repertoires of overlapping, complementary, or even conflicting cultural practices. Diversity along multiple dimensions is a mainstay of human communities. National boundaries evolve and change, bringing together people from different groups that have different ethnicities, languages, worldviews, and cultural practices. Migration and transmigration are not new phenomena. However, technological advances have accelerated cross-national movement. In 2010, international migrants constituted 3.1 percent of the world population. The greatest concentrations of international migrants relative to the national populations are in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Canada, across Europe, and Oceania (largely New Zealand and Australia).
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In the past decade, critical ethnography has moved from the periphery of scholarly attention to the forefront, spreading from the traditional social sciences into other disciplines, such as education, business, and nursing. However, the emergence of the perspective from the shadows of marginalization and the use by a broader range of scholars has created a rather variegated mosaic that often clouds the fundamental precepts shared by practitioners. This too often results in scholars labeling any form of cultural criticism as "critical ethnography." Fortunately, volumes such as this one provide the opportunity for researchers to share and compare their diverse views as a way of illustrating their common themes of social critique in order to distinguish critique from simply criticism. Here, I summarize a few core themes of critical ethnography and illustrate one (of many) ways it can be applied to address the symbolic violence of conventional research.
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Taking the position that “critical pedagogy” and “place-based education” are mutually supportive educational traditions, this author argues for a conscious synthesis that blends the two discourses into a critical pedagogy of place. An analysis of critical pedagogy is presented that emphasizes the spatial aspects of social experience. This examination also asserts the general absence of ecological thinking demonstrated in critical social analysis concerned exclusively with human relationships. Next, a discussion of ecological place-based education is offered. Finally, a critical pedagogy of place is defined. This pedagogy seeks the twin objectives of decolonization and “reinhabitation” through synthesizing critical and place-based approaches. A critical pedagogy of place challenges all educators to reflect on the relationship between the kind of education they pursue and the kind of places we inhabit and leave behind for future generations.
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Native Hawaiian young adults face challenging sociopolitical condi-tions. It is necessary to involve them in critically understanding their environment and encourage them to take action. This article highlights the growing literature linking health disparities to the construct of place. It examines critical indigenous pedagogy of place (CIPP) as a method that encourages young adults to question the social inequali-ties that exist in their communities with a focus on Native Hawaiian epistemology. Data are drawn from a case study in rural Hawai'i of a community-based, youth-run organic farm. A content analysis of the interviews was conducted using critical indigenous qualitative research to build a working conceptual model of CIPP. Findings indicate that CIPP can serve as a major conduit to the sociopolitical development of Native Hawaiian youth as it helps them become change agents in their communities.
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If we want children to flourish, says educator David Sobel, we need to give them time to connect with nature and love the Earth before we ask them to save it. Just as ethnobotanists are descending on tropical forests in search of new plants for medical uses, environmental educators, parents, and teachers are descending on second and third graders to teach them about the rainforests. From Brattleboro, Vermont, to Berkeley, California, school children are learning about tapirs, poison arrow frogs, and biodiversity. They hear the story of the murder of activist Chico Mendez and watch videos about the plight of indigenous forest people displaced by logging and exploration for oil. They learn that between the end of morning recess and the beginning of lunch, more than 10,000 acres of rainforest will be cut down, making way for fast food "hamburgerable" cattle. The motive for all this is honorable and just, but what's emerging is a strange kind of schizophrenia. Children are disconnected from the world outside their doors and connected with endangered animals and ecosystems around the globe through electronic media. What really happens when we lay the weight of the world's environmental problems on eight and nine year-olds already haunted with too many concerns and not enough real contact with nature? The crux of the issue is the developmental appropriateness of environmental curricula. One problem we have in schools is premature abstraction – we teach too abstractly, too early. Mathematics educators have recently realized that premature abstraction was one of the major causes of math phobia among children in the primary grades. Unable to connect the signs and symbols on the paper with the real world, many children were turning off to math. Mathematics instruction has been reinvigorated in the last two decades through the use of concrete materials (such as cuisinaire rods, fraction bars, and Unifix cubes) and the grounding of math instruction in the stuff and problems of everyday life. The result has been the turning of the tide against math phobia. Perhaps to be replaced by ecophobia – a fear of ecological problems and the natural world. Fear of oil spills, rainforest destruction, whale hunting, acid rain, the ozone hole, and Lyme disease. Fear of just being outside. If we prematurely ask children to deal with problems beyond their understanding and control, then I think we cut them off from the possible sources of their strength.
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SUMMARY During middle childhood, children begin to navigate their own ways through societal structures, forming ideas about their individual talents and aspirations for the future. The abil- ity to forge a positive pathway can have major implications for their success as adults. The pathways to success, however, may differ for children of diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds. This article provides a conceptual model of child development that incorporates the contextual, racial, and cultural factors that can play critical roles for children who are not part of mainstream society. Key observations emerging from this model in- clude the following: It is the interplay of the three major deriva- tives of social stratification—social position, racism, and segregation—that creates the unique conditions and pathways for children of color and of immigrant families. A segregated school or neighborhood en- vironment that is inhibiting due to limited resources may, at the same time, be promot- ing if it is supportive of the child's emotional and academic adjustment, helping the child to manage societal demands imposed by discrimination. The behavioral, cognitive, linguistic, and motivational deficits of minority and immi- grant children are more appropriately recog- nized as manifestations of adaptive cultures, as families develop goals, values, attitudes, and behaviors that set them apart from the dominant culture. Society should strive to promote positive pathways through middle childhood for all children, regardless of their background, by ensuring access to critical resources now and in the future. The authors conclude by suggesting various strategies for working with children of color and children of immigrant families to accomplish this goal.
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Unlike school-aged youth attending well-resourced suburban schools, working-class poor students attending inner-city public schools are oftentimes denied the opportunity to develop a sense of agency within their schools and communities. In this article, the author addresses one way that educators and researchers can encourage young people to engage in participatory processes of teaching and learning aimed at developing personal and collective agency. In addition, she describes how a group of university-based students participated in on-the-ground experiences that contributed significantly to their understandings of how individual and collective agency energizes teaching and research processes. The author embeds those discussions within the framework of a participatory action research project she engaged in with a group of middle school adolescents in the northeast region of the United States.
Book
Estudio sobre el desarrollo de los seres humanos, visto como procesos culturales que ocurren a través de la participación del sujeto, junto a otros miembros de su comunidad, en la construcción y reconstrucción de prácticas culturales que han sido heredadas de generaciones anteriores. Temas clásicos del desarrollo humano como la crianza, la interdependencia y la autonomía, las transiciones a lo largo del ciclo vital, el desarrollo cognoscitivo, el aprendizaje, los roles de género o las relaciones sociales son examinados desde una perspectiva cultural, que reúne ideas de la psicología evolutiva, la antropología, la educación y la historia.
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This article argues for a nuanced understanding of how Black youth respond, resist, and work to transform school and community conditions. It posits that community-based organizations in Black communities provide Black youth with critical social capital, which consists of intergenerational ties that cultivate expectations and opportunities for Black youth to engage in community change activities. Data for this study were collected from 3 years (October 2000—December 2003) of participant observation and interviews of 15 Black youth who were members of Leadership Excellence, a small community-based organization in Oakland, California. This study demonstrates how critical social capital is facilitated by challenging negative concepts about Black youth in public policy, cultivated by strengthening racial and cultural identity among Black youth, and sustained through ties with adult community members who help youth frame personal struggles as political issues.
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While numerous quantitative studies across disciplines have investigated children's knowledge and attitudes about environmental problems, few studies examine children's feelings about environmental problems—and even fewer have focused on the child's point of view. Through 50 in-depth interviews with urban children (ages 10–12) this research aimed to fill the scholarly gap in our understanding of children's environmental concerns by voicing children's feelings about environmental problems. Findings revealed 82% of children expressed fear, sadness, and anger when discussing their feelings about environmental problems. A majority of children also shared apocalyptic and pessimistic feelings about the future state of the planet. These results suggest that many children are “ecophobic” (i.e., fearful of environmental problems), which scholars argue may have serious implications for children's participation in environmental stewardship and conservation efforts more broadly. Understanding children's perspectives regarding these issues is critical, considering that children are important environmental stakeholders, consumers, residents, and future voters facing the pernicious effects of local and global environmental degradation.
Article
A growing set of research projects in science education are working from the assumption that science literacy can be constituted as being centrally focused on issues of social justice for the youth and for communities involved in such work (Calabrese Barton, 20036. Calabrese Barton , A. , Ermer , J. L. , Burkett , T. A. and Osborne , M. D. 2003 . Teaching science for social justice , New York : Teachers College Press . View all references). Despite well-established links among race, class, and exposure to environmental health risks, environmental education is failing to take into account the environmental issues pertinent to youth who are most impacted by the most pressing modern environmental issues (Lewis & James, 199520. Lewis , S. and James , K. 1995 . Whose voice sets the agenda for environmental education? Misconceptions inhibiting racial and cultural diversity . Journal of Environmental Education , 26 ( 3 ) : 5 – 12 . [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references). We therefore need to better understand how the places where environmental education occurs are themselves sites of cultural conflict that position youth in ways that limit access to certain learning pathways. Here, we ask the following questions: (a) How are places constructed for and by youth in traditional environmental education? and (b) What are implications of this construction of place for the design of instruction that connects youths’ sense of place with environmental learning? Through ethnographic analysis we have identified two social processes in how place gets constructed for and by youth: through multifaceted and juxtaposed narratives and through the social positioning of youth, by themselves and other social actors, in places where environmental education occurs.
Article
This article, via the use of ethnographic research methods, suggests that critical theory and critical pedagogy can fruitfully redirect the attention from the predominant rhetoric on oppression to the developmental, cognitive, and academic needs of immigrant, low-income, and culturally different children. The Vygotskian approach is advocated to stress the need for the creation of linguistically and culturally appropriate learning environments that link the social and cognitive processes which constitute the basis for genuine empowerment in schoolchildren. The use of concrete examples will illustrate the major points of the article.
Article
“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
Article
Some cultural ecologists have proposed a classification of minority groups as “autonomous,” “immigrant,” or “castelike,” and have defended the dichotomies between “macro” and “micro,” “explanatory” and “applied” ethnography. Other scholars, arguing against this position on both theoretical and empirical grounds, suggest that culture is crucially important at the collective and individual levels for the academic achievement and overall psychological adjustment of immigrant, refugee, and other minority children. The construction of learning environments guaranteeing academic success for all children requires theoretical and practical approaches that (1) recognize the significance of culture in specific instructional settings, (2) prevent stereotyping of minorities, (3) help resolve cultural conflicts in school, (4) integrate the home and the school cultures, and (5) stimulate the development of communicative and other skills that children need in order to participate meaningfully in the instructional process. These approaches have permitted applied ethnographers to rapidly turn failure into success.
Article
Recognizing the persistent science achievement gap between inner-city African American students and students from mainstream, White society, this article suggests that the imposition of external standards on inner-city schools will do little to ameliorate this gap because such an approach fails to address the significance of the social and cultural lives of the students. Instead, it is suggested that the use of critical ethnographic research would enable educators to learn from the students how science education can change to meet their aims and interests. The article includes a report on how a science lunch group in an inner-city high school forged a community based on respect and caring and how this community afforded African American male teens the opportunity to participate in science in new ways. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 38: 1000–1014, 2001
Chapter
In the following essay, I reflect on the chapter by Rebecca A Martusewicz, John Lupinacci, and Gary Schnakenberg. I do so from many standpoints: that of scientist, mother, person of faith, middle-school science teacher, and science teacher educator. I do not see these roles as distinct; rather they all help to shape my pedagogical project in ways that strive for coherence, despite the many contradictions.
Article
This paper offers an analysis into low-income, urban middle school children's sense of place and what and how their sense of place matters in science learning by focusing on the following questions: In what ways is students' sense of place leveraged in a science classroom? How does the content and context of science class shape how students leverage their sense of place? What learning opportunities emerge when sense of place is leveraged in class? Drawing from an ethnographic investigation into an environmental statistics class in a mid-sized public middle school, we examined sense of place events from their source, process, and outcome perspectives. Our findings are presented from two aspects of sense of place events, (1) characterizing students' sense of place by exploring sources of the sense of place events, and (2) examining processes of how students' sense of place is being leveraged in the episodes. We also examine two kinds of tensions that emerge in the class when sense of place is leveraged by students and acknowledged by the teacher: epistemological tensions (related to what the students are learning) and procedural tensions (related to how they are learning).
Article
Following a brief historical survey of the popular 'slogans' that have influenced science education during the past quarter century and a review of current international debate on scientific literacy and science pedagogy, the author takes the view that while much of value has been achieved, there is still considerable cause for concern and that it is time for action in two senses. First, it is time to take action on the school science curriculum because it no longer meets the needs, interests and aspirations of young citizens. Second, it is time for a science curriculum oriented toward sociopolitical action. The author argues that if current social and environmental problems are to be solved, we need a generation of scientifically and politically literate citizens who are not content with the role of 'armchair critic'. A particular concern in North America is the link between science education, economic globalization, increasing production and unlimited expansion - a link that threatens the freedom of individuals, the spiritual well-being of particular societies and the very future of the planet. The author's response is to advocate a politicized, issues-based curriculum focused on seven areas of concern (human health; food and agriculture; land, water and mineral resources; energy resources and consumption; industry; information transfer and transportation; ethics and social responsibility) and addressed at four levels of sophistication, culminating in preparation for sociopolitical action. The curriculum proposal outlined in the article is intended to produce activists: people who will fight for what is right, good and just; people who will work to re-fashion society along more socially-just lines; people who will work vigorously in the best interests of the biosphere. At the heart of this curriculum is a commitment to pursue a fundamental realignment of the values underpinning Western industrialized society. Achieving that goal is a formidable task - one that will not be achieved by conventional approaches to curriculum development and teacher education. The author's solution is action research linked to community involvement.
The Fluid Pastoral: African American Spiritual Waterways in the Urban Landscapes of Harlem Renaissance Poetry
  • M E Loveland
Loveland, M. E. (2018). The Fluid Pastoral: African American Spiritual Waterways in the Urban Landscapes of Harlem Renaissance Poetry. Criterion: A Journal of Literary Criticism, 11(1), 9.
May 8) The Role Of Water in African American History
  • T Parry
Parry, T. (2018, May 8) The Role Of Water in African American History. Black Perspectives. Retrieved from: https://www.aaihs.org/the-role-of-water-in-african-american-history/.