The Field Of Engaging Diverse Students

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Overview of the issue Despite valuable research in the field of engaging diverse students in science education, there is still a “gap” where these groups continue to be underrepresented and marginalized in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields (Brotman &Moore, 2008). Research indicates that the problem arises early in the classroom where curriculum and classroom environment does not account for the increase of diverse students’ groups in the classroom. Furthermore, teacher might not be receiving professional development training that prepares them for teaching to multicultural schools, particularly schools that serve underrepresented communities (Sleeter, 2001). In the last decade, research studies have suggested that inquiry-based learning can prepare students to become critical thinkers and subsequently increase their achievement in the classroom. In addition, these studies have supported the argument that including science inquiry in the classroom promotes achievement and equity in science and language acquisition for culturally and linguistically diverse students (Cuevas et al., 2005; Sleeter, 2001; Stoddart et al., 2002). The purpose of this literature review is to a) introduce science inquiry and the process, b) evaluate how science inquiry as a teaching intervention is used to engage linguistically and culturally diverse students, and c) present issues pertaining to the implementation of science inquiry in the classroom. Background
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