Journal Article: Reversing the "standard" direction: Science emerging from the lives of African American students


Blacks, High School Students, Interests, Science Education, Student Attitudes, Ethnography, Urban Environments


Seiler, Gale


2001, Nov


Recognizing the persistent science achievement gap between inner-city African American students and students from mainstream, White society, this article suggests that the imposition of external standards on inner-city schools will do little to ameliorate this gap because such an approach fails to address the significance of the social and cultural lives of the students. Instead, it is suggested that the use of critical ethnographic research would enable educators to learn from the students how science education can change to meet their aims and interests. The author describes how she discussed her work with a male student who shared his own views on teaching and learning. This led to the formation of a science lunch group in an inner-city high school. The teens discussed scientific topics of their own choosing. They forged a community based on respect and caring and showed how this community afforded African American male teens the opportunity to participate in science in new ways. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA )


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