This chapter examines the attributes of productive science teaching for inner-city African American youngsters at the middle school level. This discussion includes a selective review of the scholarly literature addressing trends in research and perspectives that have influenced school practices for African American youngsters, a vignette from a particular instance of productive science teaching, and an analysis of the vignette. The literature in this review includes that related to school failure, characteristics of effective teachers, and research findings related to specific school practices. The vignette is selected from the

experiences of the first author in teaching inner-city African American middle school youngsters.