Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education reached a major milestone this month by publishing our 500th article! For more information visit our News page.

Dismiss
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, EDUCATION (oxfordre.com/education). (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 October 2020

Sociocultural Perspectives in Science Educationlocked

  • Sara Tolbert, Sara TolbertUniversity of Canterbury
  • Paulina GrinoPaulina GrinoUniversity of Arizona
  •  and Tenzin SonamTenzin SonamEmory University

Summary

Since the late 20th century, scholarship in science education has made considerable shifts from cognitive psychology and individual constructivism toward sociocultural theories of science education as frameworks for science teaching and learning. By and large, this scholarship has attended to the ways in which both doing and learning science are embedded within sociocultural contexts, whereby learners are enculturated into scientific practices through classroom-based or scientific learning communities, such as through an apprenticeship model. Still, science education theories and practice do not systematically take into account the experiences, interests, and concerns of marginalized student groups within science and science education. Critical sociocultural perspectives in science education take up issues and questions of how science education can better serve the interests of marginalized groups, while simultaneously creating spaces for marginalized groups to transform the sciences, and science education.

These shifts in science education scholarship have been accompanied by a similar shift in qualitative research methods. Research methods in science education are transitioning from a focus on positivistic content analysis of learners’ conceptions of core ideas in science, toward more robust qualitative methods—such as design experimentation, critical ethnography, and participatory research methods—that show how learners’ identities are constituted with the complex spaces of science classrooms, as well as within larger societal matrices of oppression. The focus of this article is to communicate these recent trends in sociocultural perspectives on science education theory, research, and practice.

Subjects

  • Educational Strategies and Policy
  • Education
  • Philosophy and Theory of Education
  • Education
  • Education
  • Education

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription