Group 17 – Teaching Science for Social Justice (11/16)

Teaching Science for Social Justice: Chapter 8 – Empowering Science Education and Youth’s Practices of Science



This chapter was mainly a summary of all the overarching ideas presented throughout the book, linking together different concepts that were presented in isolation into a bigger picture (Figure 8.1) and evaluating their roles. The chapter then explores possible future directions that we as educators can explore. In designing future curriculum, we need to keep in mind topics that allow students to see science: 1) “through multiple points of entry”, 2) “through structures that recognize networks” and 3) “through thinking about identities and relationships through a desire for change”. The book ends with a reminder, or author’s thoughts, on why we should pursue science education as a career.


Connection to class:

  • This chapter came in a timely manner in tandem with our Case Study assignment where we were forced to think about our roles in classrooms in the future. Members of the group were able to apply our PLC readings to this assignment in our analysis of the case study assignment.


Highlights of Group Discussion:

  • We talked a little bit about the Paris attacks and how Facebook let people “check in” that they were safe. We talked about how people had a problem with this, in that they are asking, “Why does FB only care about people in Paris, and not anywhere else in the world that are getting terrorized?
  • We decided this was unfair, but it also made us feel like no matter what is done that is good, someone will always find a way to show you how wrong your good is.
  • We also talked about how we are sad this is our second to last PLC! This semester has flown by. Three of the four of us are student teaching next semester, and although we are excited, we realized we only have 9 days of classes left of our undergraduate career which is CRAZY!


Questions to Pose (for the teacher’s panel next week):

  1. Has a student ever exhibited an insensitive response (e.g. laughing, ridiculing, mocking) to a social justice topic you were trying to teach your class? How did you respond to this situation?
  2. How much energy should/can we devote to incorporating social justice topics into our science curricula? How can we go about this in a tactful way?
  3. Has it been hard to balance making sure you are not offending someone in whatever you do? Like we were talking about from our first two discussion highlights, it seems that no matter what we do that is “good,” someone somewhere will find it offensive.


Mission Statement:

There was no change in our mission statement aside from the qualifications made from last week’s readings.


Next Week’s Reading:

Since we’ve completed the book, we’ll be revisiting the book in its entirety and discussing the overarching ideas, how they relate to what we’ve learned in the course this semester, and how we can apply them to our future careers.



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