Practice Brief 58 -- Topics: Equity Instruction Background Culture

How can science instruction leverage and develop student interests? Short answer: In so many different ways!

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Why It Matters To You
  • Teachers should integrate a focus on developing and leveraging student interests routinely in their instruction. It helps teachers build intellectual relationships with their students.
  • District staff and PD providers should support teachers in enacting interestdriven science instruction, including making time in curriculum pacing guides and providing resources to local community and online affinity groups.
  • School leaders should support interest-driven science instruction by resourcing professional learning and collaboration around such efforts.

What is the Issue?

All students have the right to learn about science and engineering in ways that are consequential and compelling to them. Science instruction should help students understand “why does this matter to me?” This is because science learning is centrally shaped by the interests and concerns of learners and their communities— therefore relating science concepts and practices to the realities of students’ lives, generationally and culturally, is crucial. There are many different ways that learner interests can be meaningfully taken into account during instruction— by creating experiences, by adapting curriculum, or by resourcing and positioning students.



Things to Think About

Things to Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take

Investigations can center the interests, curiosities, concerns, and goals of learners and communities in a range of specific ways:


5D Storylining Strategy: Center Interests & Identities using “Why It Matters”


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Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.