Practice Brief 89 -- Topics: Equity Instruction

Attending to Race and Identity in Science Instruction

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Why it Matters to You
  • Teachers should reflect on how their own racial identity impacts learning environments. They should consider how to recognize, value, and support students’ racial identities in science instruction.
  • District staff should refine structures and policies for curriculum and assessments to support talking about race in science. PD Providers should help teachers feel confident and courageous in this work.
  • School leaders play an essential role in supporting and protecting teachers who engage students in thinking about how race, identity, and science are interrelated.

What Is The Issue?

Race is a socio-political construct that can be an important part of how people self-identify or are identified by others. Western science as a field has not always been welcoming to scientists and learners from Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities—and in some cases, continues to be actively exclusionary. Maintaining a critical lens and discussing race as a socio-political construct (instead of perpetuating the false idea that it is biological) can support students from marginalized groups to envision themselves in science and understand racialized scientific concepts and histories.

Authors:

BY JEANNE CHOWNING, HANAKO OSUGA, WANDA BRYANT, & JASON FOSTER EDITED BY KATHLEEN ARADA, PHILIP BELL & ABBY RHINEHART | JULY 2022


Things to Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take

Supplemental File: How to Create Identity Affirming Opportunities in Science Lessons



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