Crafting multicultural science education with preservice teachers through service-learning

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Many science educators, in the US and elsewhere, suppport the idea that all students should have fair and equal opportunities to become scientifically literate through authentic, real problem-based science education. However, this challenge requires teachers to find ways to help all students feel comfortable with, and connected to, science. Despite the general consensus around the ideal of science for all, science teacher education programmes have had little or no impact on preservice teachers' philosophies of teaching and learning, especially as it relates to serving underserved populations in science. In this paper, I explore community service-learning as one way of addressing the multicultural dimension of preservice education with the following three questions: In what ways does involving pre-service science teachers in community service-learning influence their views on multicultural science education, in theory and practice? What qualities of community service-learning make multicultural science education a realistic objective? How might service-learning be used to push our collective understanding of what an inclusive and liberatory multicultural science teaching practice could be? I explore these questions and propose further areas of research by using a case study involving service-learning from my own teaching-research with preservice students.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2000

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