chapter  6
29 Pages

Resources and Opportunity to Learn: Pole-Vaulting Without the Pole

In 1991, Kozol published Savage Inequalities, a book that made dramatically public what most people who visit schools have always known: U.S. schoolchildren experience shockingly different conditions of schooling. Kozol not only contrasted the plush conditions of suburban schools to those of neighboring decrepit, demoralizing, and unsafe urban schools, but he also showed the vast disparity between schools within school systems. This chapter focuses on the differences between the education of rich and poor children and rich and poor schools. These contrasts show up in stark relief in science classrooms because science is a subject that can be so resource dependent. Science resources not only include obvious physical and material resources, such as decently functioning classrooms, adequate laboratory facilities, equipment, curriculum materials, and tech-nology, but they also consist of human resources, such as well prepared science teachers and crucial professional development efforts that allow teachers to create an implemented curriculum consonant with science education reform goals.