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Empowering Science and Mathematics Education in Urban Schools$
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Angela Barton, Edna Tan, Erin Turner, and Maura Varley Gutiérrez

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226037974

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226037998.001.0001

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Changing the Discourse on Equity and Math and Science for All

Changing the Discourse on Equity and Math and Science for All

(p.1) Chapter One Changing the Discourse on Equity and Math and Science for All
Empowering Science and Mathematics Education in Urban Schools

Edna Tan

Angela Calabrese Barton

Erin E. Turner

Maura Varley Gutiérrez

University of Chicago Press

Math and science hold uniquely powerful places in contemporary society. These domains open doors to high-paying professions; provide a knowledge base for more informed conversations with health care workers, educators, and business and community leaders; and demystify issues of global importance, such as air and water quality standards, population density, toxic dumping, and the economy. Schools play a crucial role in mediating access to math and science. The call to make equitable math and science instruction has tended to reside in the policy sector with extension into curricula, rather than in any systematic line of inquiry into what this should look like and why. This chapter sheds light on specific needs of urban learners in the effort to promote science and math for all. High-quality science and math education is a civil right for all students, one which is especially significant for those from non-dominant groups. Studies of equal treatment and equal outcome have played, and continue to play, powerful and historically important roles. Most researchers are generally familiar with the chilling statistics that describe high-poverty and minority urban and rural students' differential access to resources in US schools, and are aware that these trends have changed little in the past three decades.

Keywords:   math education, science, urban learners, equity, contemporary society

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