Preparing Science Teachers for Diversity: Integrating the Contributions of Scientists from Underrepresented Groups in the Middle School Science Curriculum

  • Rose M. Pringle
  • Cheryl A. McLaughlin


Preservice teachers often create profiles of scientists based on stereotypes that have become embedded in their consciousness. Given the inextricable link between teachers’ belief and instructional practices, as science teacher educators, we believed it was important to tease out the stereotypes that preservice teachers have about scientists. In this chapter, we describe our efforts to provide pedagogical opportunities for preservice teachers to broaden their concept of multicultural science education and ways to engage the personal and cultural identities of their learners into their science lessons. Some of these strategies specifically involve the infusion of the contributions to science made by scientists from underrepresented groups in the sciences. Activities conducted in our science education course reveal that the image of the White male overwhelmingly persists as the classical representation of a scientist. Some of our preservice teachers argued that ethnic groups do not readily come to mind when they think about scientists. Scholars and researchers involved with the development of curriculum that embraces multicultural education cannot assume that the perceptions of scientists have transcended the White male stereotype. We contend that preservice teachers should be given opportunities to develop images of scientists beyond the monoculture of White male dominance in order to effectively implement science curriculum that acknowledges the contributions made to science by scientists from underrepresented groups. This however is a first step, as science teacher educators must enact practices that shift preservice teachers toward transformative practices and a recognition of their roles as effective agents for social change.


Preservice Teacher Science Teacher Teacher Education Program Science Curriculum Teacher Candidate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education, School of Teaching and LearningUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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