“Things your history teacher won't teach you: Science edition”: Black women science teachers as anti-racist teachers

Alexis D. Riley, Felicia Moore Mensah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marginalized communities cannot and do not have decontextualized experiences with how socioscientific issues, such as exposure to COVID-19 as frontline essential workers, high Black infant mortality rates, air pollution leading to respiratory problems, and other issues, affect their communities. As PreK-12 science teachers and teacher educators strive to dismantle oppressive practices in their classrooms and curriculum, it would be helpful to learn from Black women science teachers who have been engaging in anti-racist practices before the racial awakenings of Summer 2020. In this study, three different virtual focus groups, or Sista Circles, were conducted with 18 Black women secondary science teachers. Ranging from 1 to 22 years of experience, Black women teachers across the country and international participants in Canada and Qatar participated in the Sista Circles. From intersectional qualitative analysis and narrative inquiry, the findings of the study reveal that Black women science teachers enact anti-racist science teaching by bringing something new to the community; using NGSS standards within the context of the community; teaching at the intersection of history, culture, and science learning and teaching; and building critical consciousness in the science classroom. Furthermore, the findings of the study have implications for the use of anti-racist frameworks within the context of science education that were authentically the practices of the Black women in the study. This study offers insights into how the critical consciousness of Black women teachers can be represented in the science classroom even in times of nonsupport from peers and administration. The power and necessity of Black women teachers are paramount in science classrooms specifically because of the neutral, apolitical ways science teaching has been approached in the past. The narratives and stories shared here exemplify how Black women science teachers transform science teaching and learning by displaying various acts of Criticality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-840
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Black women
  • anti-racist science teaching
  • culturally relevant pedagogy
  • science teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of '“Things your history teacher won't teach you: Science edition”: Black women science teachers as anti-racist teachers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this