It Doesn’t Matter What You Think, This is Real: Expanding Conceptions About Urban Students in Science Classrooms

  • Christopher Emdin
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 2)


We are at a point in time in the field of science education where many of the recommendations for improving teaching and learning are presented in very interesting and innovative ways. Researchers have various avenues to present their work and have developed the ability to utilize various means to disseminate it. There are conferences, symposia, journals, online journals, professional organizations, and even blogs that support the sharing and discussion of the outcomes of science education research. However, despite the innovations in the realms of presentation and dissemination, many of the approaches to science education are firmly rooted in pre-established precedents and accepted preconceptions. In other words, the outcomes of research are often new representations of old ideas developed in times past to connect students from a specific time and very specific demographic to science. Whereas science education research and practice appears to be inclusive, the view of urban populations as participants in science is not as expansive. For example, burgeoning areas of interest include the teaching for inquiry and the nature of science. These areas have a space within the framework for connecting marginalized youth to science but do not attack what is at the core of students’ exclusion from full participation in the discipline. Educators and researchers who nest their actions and practices in existing approaches often replicate past practice and engage in actions that reify age-old approaches to the discipline. These educators often engage in work based on what they think of the students in the classroom and not on what are the true reflections of students’ experiences. This is the case with the focus on teaching only for disseminating content and strict classroom management that has been closely tied to instruction in the science classrooms where I have conducted research.


Science Education Science Classroom Full Participation Science Education Research Urban Youth 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Emdin
    • 1
  1. 1.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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