Language in Science Education as a Gatekeeper to Learning, Teaching, and Professional Development

Apr. 15, 2007

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 18, Number 2 / April, 2007 p. 319-343

In this study, I used a feminist poststructural perspective to explain how language is a gatekeeper in learning science, in achieving professional honors in teaching science, and in teaching science to English language learners.
The various uses of language revealed interesting dynamics related to the culture of power of language and the culture of power of science along race–ethnicity, gender, and class dimensions for teachers.

Teachers did not necessarily see language as having distinct purposes and uses.
This further maintained the gatekeeping nature of language and discourse in science education. I discuss implications for looking at language in science education for teacher professional development and student learning.

Updated: Feb. 17, 2008