Science for all: A Promise or a Pipe Dream for Bilingual Students?

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Scientific and technological literacy are important learning outcomes the nation has committed to develop in order to maintain a globally competitive economy. Students who bring to school diverse languages and cultures provide a rich resource of experiences on which to develop a scientifically literate work force. Unfortunately, in spite of the national commitment to “science for all,” the process of promoting scientific literacy has not yet been fully operationalized across school settings. This article compares and contrasts opportunities for science learning at two schools with diverse student populations, one suburban and one urban. Three sources of information are considered: (a) students’ prior knowledge and backgrounds, (b) perceptions of teachers and administrators, and (c) the schools’ instructional environment. Vast differences are found in the science learning opportunities at these two sites. As the nation strives to promote equitable learning opportunities, these data sources provide beginning points for harnessing the energies for making science for all a reality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-278
Number of pages18
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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