The Achievement Gap

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The Achievement Gap

The Science Achievement Gap

An article written by Ikpa states that early intervention plays a factor into the science achievement gap. In 1991, only 31 percent of African American children were enrolled in preschool compared to 40 percent of Caucasian children. While the difference in attendance may appear small, the difference is substantial enough to a create a wide enough achievement gap. Since more Caucasian children are being enrolled in preschool they are at a higher advantage compared to Africian American children to succeed in science and other subjects. Ikpa, V. W. (2003). The mathematics and science achievement gap between resegregated and desegregated schools. (2 ed., Vol. 124, pp. 223-229).

An article written by Kohlhaas, Hsin-Hui, and Kwang-Lee investigates whether attitude factors into the science achievement gap. The observers found out that majoirty and minority students enter into school with the same attitudes about sceince. However, as the school year proceeded, minority students started to have a different attitude than the majority students. These observers felt it was the teachers fualt for failing to connect science concepts to minority students life outside of the classroom. Science is a way of knowing and doing which requires a particular way of communicating. However, minority students become lost in the translation of science and that is essentially where the achievement gap begins. Kohlhass, K., Hsin-Hui, L., & Kwang-Lee, C. (2010). Science equity in third grade. (3 ed., Vol. 110, pp. 393-408).

Who needs preschool?

Is communication important?

National Assessment of Education Progress states that the achievement gap occurs when one group of students outperforms another group and the difference in average scores for the two groups is statistically significant. www.nationalassessmentofeducationprogress/

What is the achievement gap?

An article written by Valadez explains why the anchievement gap in science exist among majority and minority races. He explains that Caucasians and Asians attend higher Supplement Education Service (SES) schools than African American and Hispanic students do. Valadez explains that membership in low-SES or minority groups is viewed as part of the broader explanation for low science performance.Valadez, J. (2010). Explaining the science achievement gap. (Vol. 40, pp. 30-38)

Where I go to school makes a difference?

An article written by Chapin discusses data extracted from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) sampled more than 20,000 kindergartens and 1st grade students. The students were tested twice within a two-year period. First the students were tested in the fall of Kindergarden and than in the spring of 1st grade. Observers noticed that the test scores produced wide differences amongst the different races. Observers stated that before students even reached Kindergarten there already existed an achievement gap. The first few years in a child's learning are critical, therefore the achievement gap needs to be viewed as a serious problem because this is a prime factor why students are performing below standards. Chapin, J. (2006). The achievement gap in social studies and science starts early. (Vol. 97, pp.231-238)

When does the achievement gap start?

An article written by Li explains a research test that used two different schools, urban and affluent. The Urban school had more than 90% of its students qualifying for free and reduced lunch and more than 95% of its students were African American. The affluent school had less than 10% of its students qualifying for free and reduced lunch and less than 10% of its students were African American. The researchers noticed in the Urban schools it took on an average of one to three weeks for students to master science concepts. While at the affluent schools it took about two days for studnets to master science concepts.Li, J., Klahr, D., & Siler, S. (2006). What lies beneath the science achievement gap: The challenges of aligning science instruction with standards and tests. (1 ed., Vol. 15, pp. 1-12)

Urban versus affluent schools

An article written by Lin and Chu suggest that schools may be apart of the problem. Minority students are often disadvantaged by the level of learning opportunties in schools, which may result in lower standardized science performance scores. Vijil, V., Slate, J., and Combs, J. (2012). Ethnic differences in science: and the achievement gap continues. (4ed.,Vol. 66, pp. 386-394).

Which students are affected?

An article written by Willams calls for a plan of action to be set into motion. While there have been numerous interventions set into motion to eliminate the various disparities, a gap between races in science still exist. If nothing is done about the gap than it can lead to later disparities in engineering and technology careers. Here are some possible interventions to help narrow the science achievement gap: smaller class sizes, use of standards- based practices, teacher expectations, and use fo mentors.Williams, A. (2011). A call for change: Narrowing the achievement gap between white and minority students. (pp. 65-71).

What needs to be done?

An article writen by Yerrick and Alnakeeb questioned whether teachers are to blame for why minority students are misrepresented in science. They considered that maybe the task of teaching science has become so complex and overwhelming to teach. They also considered the possiblily of new teachers being inexperienced and have low expectations when teaching science to students. Another possiblity is that majority teachers may have never learned how to effectively teach students unlike themselves. Yerrick, R., & Alnakeeb, Z. (2007). "How can we look toward the horizon, with our ears to the ground?" (1 ed., Vol. 4, pp. 45-49).

Are teachers responsible?

The Science Achievement Gap

The Achievement Gap


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