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Journal of Research in Science Teaching




This study explores how a biology teacher from a summer science program engaged high school students of color in a three-week science unit exploring community health at the intersection of history, race, place, and power. The goal of this study is to better understand what community-driven science looks like in a science classroom when a health equity unit is guided by a biology teacher who engages the socio-historical, political, and relational aspects of community structure and agency. Using student and instructor interviews, program observations, and student artifacts, I examine how the instructor's positioning as a Black woman scientist shaped her goals and vision and the instructional and pedagogical resources made available during the unit. In addition, I explore how engaging in community-driven science practices during the unit such as critical inquiry and data analysis supported students' sense making about community health and the possibilities they imagined for their communities. Findings illuminate how engaging community health at the intersection of history, race, place, and power shaped engagement in community-driven science practices and supported student sense making in ways that surfaced challenges, tensions, and opportunities for disrupting and reimagining community narratives. Further, finding highlight the importance of an instructor's lived experiences and pedagogical vision in supporting emergent forms of student agency and place remaking, and generating possibilities for community healing and hope.


community health, justice-centered science, narratives, place, race, secondary science teaching

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Teacher Education