Closing the Gap

Journal Article by: Arthur Eisenkraft Digital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Laboratory experiences, and not just textbooks, are the best way to provide equal learning opportunities for all.

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A selection from The Science Teacher—April/May 2013

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Reviews (3)
  • on Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:42 AM

This article started talking about the importance of having labs for everyone in all sciences. I have been fighting for this more in my school for years. The two main points discussed in here is how labs level the playing fields for lower socioeconomic that may not have the same experiences and to provide the equal opportunities that will not be clouded with incorrect memories or misconceptions.

Jaime Kupfner  (Parkersburg, WV)
Jaime Kupfner (Parkersburg, WV)

  • on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:08 PM

“Equity demands that all students have lab instruction, yet certain populations never get it.” What a powerful statement/ Eisenkraft makes excellent arguments throughout this article based on this presumption. It is assumed that all students know and have experienced some of the most basic investigations when in reality, they have not. “A lab trains a student in doing science the way practicing a sport trains an athlete.” Science labs provide a common ground for all students. Labs are crucial to help students make meaning of the Science content. Throughout the article, Eisenkraft shares wonderful analogies of how our everyday practices can be improved to make sure we are meeting the needs of all students. This article caused me to really pause and think about what I do and how I can modify my practice to make Science equitable for all.

Sandy Gady  (Renton, WA)
Sandy Gady (Renton, WA)

  • on Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:06 PM

I had the privilege of sitting in a presentation by Arthur Eisenkraft at my very first NSTA conference a few years ago, and his words had a tremendous impact on they way I teach science. This article should be a MUST read for every pre-service and current teacher. He addresses many of the reasons students develop a disconnect to their science lessons and offers suggestions on how to "close the gap" or reconnect your students to their science education. I highly recommend this article!!

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

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