ERIC Number: EJ1097487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Framing the Genetics Curriculum for Social Justice: An Experimental Exploration of How the Biology Curriculum Influences Beliefs about Racial Difference
Donovan, Brian M.
Science Education, v100 n3 p586-616 May 2016
This field experiment manipulated the racial framing of a reading on human genetic disease to explore whether racial terminology in the biology curriculum affects how adolescents explain and respond to the racial achievement gap in American education. Carried out in a public high school in the San Francisco Bay Area, students recruited for the study (N = 86) were randomly assigned to read either a racially framed or a nonracially framed textbook passage on genetic diseases as part of a unit on Mendelian genetics. Afterwards, they responded to two instruments measuring belief in the biological/genetic basis of race and one measure that recorded their explanations of the racial achievement gap and their willingness to volunteer their free time to fix it. Results demonstrated that students in the racially framed condition exhibited significantly greater agreement in the genetic basis of racial difference than students in the nonracially framed condition. A content analysis of students' explanations of the achievement gap also demonstrated that a significantly greater proportion of students gave genetic explanations of the achievement gap in the racially framed condition compared to the other condition. Furthermore, students' prior beliefs about race interacted with the reading treatments to affect students' willingness to fix the racial achievement gap.
Descriptors: Field Studies, Genetics, Social Justice, Biology, Beliefs, Racial Differences, Adolescents, Achievement Gap, High School Students, Content Analysis, Genetic Disorders
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California