Diverse Urban Youth’s Learning of Science Outside School in University Outreach and Community Science Programs

  • Jrène RahmEmail author
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 24)


In this chapter, I explore the role of university outreach and community science programs in the lives of diverse urban youth. Grounded in sociocultural theory, I take for granted that scientific literacy development entails an understanding of the range, or repertoires, of cultural practices the youth engage in, including such settings besides family and school. While most studies report on the product of participation in such practices, I focus on the process of learning and articulate the relationship among forms of participation and identities in science in such practices that are part of youth’s scientific literacy development.


Community science programs diverse urban youth sociocultural theory identity university outreach programs 


  1. Atwater, M. M., Colson, J. J., & Simpson, R. D. (1999). Influences of a University summer residential program on high school students’ commitment to the sciences and higher education. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 5, 155–173.Google Scholar
  2. Bell, R. L., Blair, L. M., Crawford, B. A., & Lederman, N. G. (2003). Just do it? Impact of a science apprenticeship program on high school students’ understandings of the nature of science and scientific inquiry. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40, 487–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bouillion, L. M., & Gomez, L. M. (2001). Connecting school and community with science learning: Real world problems and school-community partnerships as contextual scaffolds. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38, 878–898.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Calabrese Barton, A. (2007). Science learning in urban settings. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research in science education (pp. 319–343). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  5. Calabrese Barton, A. (2003). Teaching science for social justice. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  6. Calabrese Barton, A. (1998). Teaching science with homeless children: Pedagogy, representation, and identity. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35, 379–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Calabrese Barton, A., & Yang, K. (2000). The culture of power and science education: Learning from Miguel. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 871–889.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crane, V. (1994). An introduction to informal science learning and research. In V. Crane, H. Nicholson, M. Chen, & S. Bitgood (Eds.), Informal science learning (pp. 1–14). Dedham, MA: Research Communications.Google Scholar
  9. Currie, D. H., Kelly, D. M., & Pomerantz, S. (2007). Listening to girls: Discursive positioning and the construction of self. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 20, 377–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Delgado, M. (2002). New frontiers for youth development in the twenty-first century. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Eisenhart, M. (2008). Globalization and science education in a community-based after-school program. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 3, 73–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fadigan, K. A., & Hammrich, P. L. (2004). A longitudinal study of the educational and career trajectories of female participants of an urban informal science education program. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41, 835–860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Froschl, M., Sprung, B., Archer, E., & Franscali, C. (2003). Science, gender, and afterschool: A research-action agenda. New York: Educational Equity Concepts and the Academy for Educational Development.Google Scholar
  14. Furman, M., & Calabrese Barton, A. (2006). Capturing urban student voices in the creation of a science mini-documentary. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43, 667–694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gutiérrez, K. D., & Rogoff, B. (2003). Cultural ways of learning: Individual traits or repertoires of practice. Educational Researcher, 32(5), 19–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Halpern, R. (2006). Critical issues in afterschool-programming. Monographs of the Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy, Erikson Institute, Serial No. 1, Vol. 1 Chicago, IL: Herr Research Center.Google Scholar
  17. Hughes, G. (2001). Exploring the availability of student scientist identities within curriculum discourse: An anti-essentialist approach to gender-inclusive science. Gender and Education , 13(3), 275–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hull, G. (2008). Foreword: Afterschool talks back. In S. Hill (Ed.), Afterschool matters: Creative programs that connect youth development and student achievement (pp. ix–xx). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  19. McClure, P., & Rodriguez, A. (with contributions from Cummings, F., Falkenberg, K., & McComb, E.). (2007). Factors related to advanced course taking patterns, persistence in science technology engineering and mathematics, and the role of out-of-school time programs: A literature review. Berkeley, CA: Coalition for Science After School.Google Scholar
  20. McElroy, E., & Armesto, M. (1998). TRIO and upward bound: History, programs, and issues – past, present and future. The Journal of Negro Education, 67, 373–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nicholson, H. J., Weiss, F. L., & Campbell, P. B. (1994). Evaluation of informal science education: Community-based programs. In V. Crane, H. Nicholson, M. Chen, & S. Bitgood (Eds.), Informal science learning (pp. 107–176). Dedham, MA: Research Communications.Google Scholar
  22. Olsen, R., Seftor, N., Silva, T., Myers, D., DesRoches, D., & Young, J. (2007). Upward-bound math-science: Program description and interim impact estimates. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  23. Rahm, J. (2010). Science in the making at the margin. A multisited ethnography of learning and becoming in an afterschool program, a garden, and a math and science upward bound program. Rotterdam: Sense.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rodriguez, J. L., Bustamante, J., Pank, V. O., & Park, C. D. (2004). Promoting academic achievement and identity development among diverse high school students. The High School Journal, 87(3), 44–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sfard, A., & Prusak, A. (2005). Telling identities: In search of an analytic tool for investigating learning as a culturally shaped activity. Educational Researcher, 34, 14–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Simpson, J. S., & Parsons, E. C. (2009). African American perspectives and informal science educational experiences. Science Education, 93, 293–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontréalCanada

Personalised recommendations