This forum paper is a response to Michele Hollingsworth Koomen’s paper entitled: Inclusive science education: Learning from Wizard. doi:10.1007/s11422-015-9668-6.
This review explores Michelle Hollingsworth Koomen’s “Inclusive science education: Learning from Wizard,” a case study of a middle school student with learning exceptionalities in a mainstream science classroom. The strength of Koomen’s work lies in her elucidation of the ways in which normative science instruction fails to adequately support Wizard’s learning. His classroom experiences position him, if unintentionally, as deficient and incapable, which in turn serves to undermine his ability to fully engage in science or to capitalize on his strengths as a learner in the service of developing disciplinary literacy. I extend this conversation by arguing for a broader view of scientific literacy and the need for a more relational pedagogy in classrooms that supports meaningful and productive engagement in science learning and fosters positive identification with science.
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Re-envisioning scientific literacy as relational, participatory thinking and doing