CHAPTER 12

Science Learning in Urban Settings

Angela Calabrese Barton

Michigan State University

Last year I was interviewing a group of sixth-grade students from a high-poverty urban school in New York City. I had spent a great deal of time with them in an after-school program and thought I had a good sense of what they cared about. I had also spent time in their science class. The science class was interesting, primarily because most students held strong opinions about the teacher, Mr. Logan. Nearly all of the students I talked to believed that Mr. Logan was a good science teacher. Yet, nearly all of the students also said that they did not like science class!

As I began to probe this contradiction with the students, I said to them, “Tell ...

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