Gender Issues in the Construction of Scientific Knowledge: Inquiry into a 6th Grade Urban Classroom GCP-97-5

Maria Varelas, Barbara Luster, Stacy Wenzel,  Jane Liao
Maria, College of Education, Barbara, Department of African American Studies,

Abstract
In this paper, we share with our readers preliminary data and analyses that point towards some themes that relate gender issues with the teaching and learning of science within our specific conceptual framework.  We consider our work to be a form of teacher research in science education.  One of us, Barbara, is an elementary school teacher and a school-based researcher and the rest of us are University-based researchers.  Barbara and Maria have been working together for more than two years trying to bring in the science classroom a specific take on science education–one that views science as a socio-cultural activity that centers on the dialectic of theory and data, or the theory-data dance as we like to call it.  Recently (this school year) Barbara and Maria became interested in exploring issues related to gender as they are played out in the science class as teacher and students attempt to develop scientific theories (stories), collect and analyze empirical data, and relate the two in order to construct scientific knowledge.  Stacy and Jane joined us for this project which has been slowly getting off the ground due to many different reasons–reasons often discussed in relation to teacher research.

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