Exploring the Teaching and Learning of Socioscientific Issues: Intersections of Race, Place, and Health Inequities

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American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2020 Annual Meeting

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This study explores how a biology teacher from a summer science program engaged high school students in a unit examining health inequities at the intersection of race, place, gender, and socioeconomic status. Using student and instructor interviews, program observations, and student artifacts this study examines relationships between an instructor’s goal to foster critical thinking about health disparities, the design of instructional/pedagogical resources (e.g., health statistics, personal narratives), and students’ sense making about health outcomes following the unit. Findings highlight students’ complex reasoning as they navigate their personal experiences, structural inequities, local and national statistics, and individual agency. Findings inform the design of units and lessons that promote scientific literacy, critical thinking, and the co-development of students’ science and racial identities.


Science Education; Teacher Education