Practice Brief 71 -- Topics: Equity Instruction

How can you advance equity and justice through science teaching?

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Why it Matters to You
  • Teachers, District Staff, PD Providers, and Educational Leaders should work from their positionality to engage in self-reflection and critical consciousness raising as they organize with others through affinity group-based conversations leading to taking action toward intersectional justice.
  • Education Leaders should also collaborate with a broad range of marginalized community members to guide improvement and help coordinate and resource equity efforts district-wide.

What Is The Issue?

Inequities are built into the systems of science education such that “students of color, students who speak first languages other than English, and students from low-income communities… have had limited access to high-quality, meaningful opportunities to learn science.” Intersecting equity projects can guide the teaching and learning of science towards social justice. Science educators who engage in these projects help advance Indigenous self-determination (details) and racial justice by confronting the consequences of legacies of injustice and promoting liberatory approaches to education.

Above Image: This brief outlines ways science teachers can engage in seven intersecting equity projects (Bell, 2019).


By Philip Bell, Deb L. Morrison, Kathleen Arada, Maya M. Garcia & members and partners of the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS)

Reflection Questions

  • We use "equity projects" to signal key initiatives where intentional action is needed. What projects do your students and communities furthest from educational justice need?
  • Are there groups in your context who you can engage in self-reflection, planning, and action with—and learn to navigate resistance to enacting change?

Things to Consider

Attending to Equity

Promoting equity and justice should be approached as a never-ending, detailed pursuit of collective liberation by everyone involved in education.

Recommended Actions You Can Take

Key intersectional equity projects you can take up in science education:


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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.