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Effective STEM Education Strategies for Diverse and Underserved Learners

Abstract

"The notion of equitable learning opportunities starts with an understanding that all students come to school with previously constructed knowledge grounded in their home language and cultural values. While connecting new knowledge to prior knowledge is a fundamental part of learning for all students, the linguistic and cultural resources that mainstream students bring to school are more likely to be closely in line with typical classroom practices. Non-mainstream students often find themselves disadvantaged by a school culture that seems to overlook the linguistic and cultural resources that are valued in their home and community. ...some aspects of students' linguistic and cultural traditions may, in fact, be inconsistent with a scientific orientation toward knowledge construction and problem solving. ...Thus, effective science instruction considers students' prior knowledge, experiences, and beliefs and explicitly articulates their relationships with the norms of school science in order to make science accessible and relevant for all students."

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