Urban Fifth Graders’ Connections-Making between Formal Earth Science Content and Their Lived Experiences
Cultural Studies of Science Education
Earth science education, as it is traditionally taught, involves presenting concepts such as weathering, erosion, and deposition using relatively well-known examples—the Grand Canyon, beach erosion, and others. However, these examples—which resonate well with middle- and upper-class students—ill-serve students of poverty attending urban schools who may have never traveled farther from home than the corner store. In this paper, I explore the use of a place-based educational framework in teaching earth science concepts to urban fifth graders and explore the connections they make between formal earth science content and their lived experiences using participant-driven photo elicitation techniques. I argue that students are able to gain a sounder understanding of earth science concepts when they are able to make direct observations between the content and their lived experiences and that when such direct observations are impossible they make analogies of appearance, structure, and response to make sense of the content. I discuss additionally the importance of expanding earth science instruction to include man-made materials, as these materials are excluded traditionally from the curriculum yet are most immediately available to urban students for examination.
Brkich, Katie L..
"Urban Fifth Graders’ Connections-Making between Formal Earth Science Content and Their Lived Experiences."
Cultural Studies of Science Education, 9 (1): 141-164.