chapter  2
26 Pages

Demographics and Trends in Science Education

There is likely to be little disagreement among Americans about general equity goals. Americans are committed to the principles of fairness, impartiality, and justice that lie at the heart of democracy. Yet, beyond general areas of agreement are fundamental differences, many with broad implications for education planning and practice, especially for science education that has traditionally been looked on as the province of the educated and intellectual elite. A commitment to equity exists alongside clear evidence that some groups of Americans are more likely to participate and be successful in science than others (Marrett & Ziege, 1995), Although many of these differences are common knowledge, it is useful to examine current statistics comparing especially those groups that have been bypassed by science education in the past. In some areas, substantial gains have been made, pointing a way for success for groups that have seen less progress. This discussion of the demographics of science education should set the stage for the equity agenda that emerges from this volume.