Science Educators' Concerns Regarding Ethnic/Racial Diversity Issues in Science Education.

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Title: Science Educators' Concerns Regarding Ethnic/Racial Diversity Issues in Science Education.
Author: Simpson, Jamila Rashida
Advisors: Glenda Carter, Committee Chair
Allen Riordan, Committee Member
John Park, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the concerns science educators have about ethnic/racial diversity issues in science education. Three groups of educators, preservice teachers (n=12), inservice teachers (n=15), and informal educators (n=14) participated in the study. Participants' concerns were determined by using the Multicultural Teaching Concerns Survey (MTCS) by Marshall (1996b) and by examining transcripts of group discussions. The MTCS results revealed that the science educators as a whole were most concerned about what strategies and techniques they should use with diverse students. The next area of greatest concern was 'Familial/Group Knowledge'. Finally, the areas of 'Cross-Cultural Competence' and 'School Bureaucracy' garnered similar levels of concern from science educators. Transcript data analysis revealed that the preservice science educators held two main concerns: a) Language as a barrier when communicating with ESL students, b) treating diverse students preferentially. Concerns were also more focused on 'self' as Fuller (1969) suggested occurs with preservice teachers. The inservice science educators were found to hold five major concerns: a) diverse students' home life, b) students dealing with diversity, c) language as a barrier when interacting with ESL students, d) finding material on diverse scientists to present to students, and e) students' perceptions of the teacher. Most concerns raised by the inservice teachers were centered on the well-being of the student. Finally, informal science educators held three main concerns regarding: a) the lack of diverse people in the informal science setting, b) language as a barrier when interacting with ESL audiences, and c) diverse students? home life. Most concerns were centered on the need to encourage diverse groups to participate in museum programs.
Date: 2004-04-04
Degree: MS
Discipline: Science Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/103


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