Framing equity through a closer examination of critical science agency

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Edna Tan, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Science for all has been touted as the primary path to equity in science education in the USA. We argue that without attention to the power imbalances that both create and sustain dominant views of science education; such an approach is not equity-oriented but rather science colonizing. In this manuscript, we draw upon critical views of justice to argue that a more equity-oriented approach to science education focuses on critical science agency (CSA)—using science knowledge and other forms of distributed expertise to redress instances of injustice. Using critical participatory ethnography methodology with a social practice theory lens, we suggest that youth enact forms of CSA by directly incorporating their developing understandings of intersecting scales of injustices into their scientific knowledge and practice in an iterative and generative way. This process enabled the girls to reshape scientific knowledge and authority hierarchies in their science community. Finally, partly due to the disruption of dominant norms of science teaching and learning, the girls in our study utilized and shared expansive expertise enacting CSA. These findings advance our fields’ understanding of CSA, and its potential for pushing science education to be more justice-oriented.

Additional Information

Cultural Studies of Science Education 14, 309-325
Language: English
Date: 2019
critical science agency, equity, justice, identity

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