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Oct. 5, 2020

Faculty voice: Disrupting whiteness in science education

Terrance Burgess is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education within the College of Education. His work with science education focuses on creating equitable learning opportunities for elementary youth of color.

“My research seeks to make both theoretical and practical contributions to science education, largely through centering the experiences of an oftentimes overlooked group: elementary youth of color. Research suggests that elementary students who attend public schools in the U.S. receive infrequent science instruction that averages fewer than 30 minutes per day. However, we know students of color have a wealth of knowledge that allows them to make sense of their worlds, indicating a deep conceptual understanding of complex scientific ideas. This knowledge is rarely acknowledged within science instruction and this, coupled with the dominant narrative of who can “do” science and “become” a scientist, indicates a need for further exploration. Theoretically, scholars argue for focusing on how students of color come to view themselves as scientists; however, when considering its practical implications, this is quite complex, an area my work intends to address.”

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