How to engage culturally and linguistically diverse students in learning science is a relatively new field of study. Researchers have begun to address this question using a range of theoretical perspectives, including: (a) a cognitively based perspective, (b) a cross-cultural perspective, and (c) a sociopolitical perspective. Although proponents of these perspectives share the belief that connecting students' cultural and linguistic experiences to the practices of science is central to student engagement, the specific approaches proposed to best achieve this goal differ. The authors explain each perspective using examples from representative research programs and discuss the unique ways that each perspective addresses the challenge of providing engaging and equitable learning opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse students in science classrooms. They offer implications for instructional strategies that teachers can use to make their classrooms more engaging and equitable science learning environments for diverse student groups.
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