On negotiating White science: a call for cultural relevance and critical reflexivity

  • Silvia Cristina BettezEmail author
  • Jean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez
  • Heidi B. Carlone
  • Jewell E. Cooper


This article is a response to Randy Yerrick and Joseph Johnson’s article “Negotiating White Science in Rural Black America: A Case for Navigating the Landscape of Teacher Knowledge Domains”. They write about research conducted by Yerrick in which videos of his teaching practice as a White educator in a predominately Black rural classroom were examined. Their analysis is framed through Shulman’s (1986) work on “domains of teacher knowledge” and Ladson-Billings’ (1999) critical race theory (CRT). Although we appreciate a framework that attends to issues of power, such as CRT, we see a heavier emphasis on Shulman’s work in their analysis. We argue that a culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) framework has the potential to provide a more nuanced analysis of what occurred in Yerrick’s classroom from a critical lens. Thus we examine Yerrick and Johnson’s work through the five main CRP components (as defined by Brown-Jeffy and Cooper 2011) and ultimately argue that science educators who want to promote equity in their classrooms should engage in continuous critical reflexivity, aid students in claiming voice, and encourage students to become not only producers of scientific knowledge but also users and critics of such knowledge.


Critical race theory Culturally relevant pedagogy Critical multicultural education Intersectionality Equity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Cristina Bettez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez
    • 1
  • Heidi B. Carlone
    • 1
  • Jewell E. Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationThe University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA

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