, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 171-187

Reproduction of social class in the teaching and learning of science in urban high schools

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The study examines the teaching and learning of science in an urban high school characterised by African American students from conditions of relative poverty. An interpretive study was undertaken involving a research team that included the teacher in the study and a student from the school. Despite the teacher's effort to enact a curriculum that was transformative the students resisted most of his efforts to enhance their learning. The study highlights the difficulties of engaging students when they lack motivation to learn and attend sporadically. In an era of standards-oriented science in which all students are expected to achieve at a high level, it is essential that research identify ways to tailor the science curriculum to the needs and interests of students.