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ERIC Number: EJ1152953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Puerto Rico: Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Physics Teaching
González-Espada, Wilson J.; Carrasquillo, Rose E.
Physics Teacher, v55 n6 p334-337 Sep 2017
It was a pleasant surprise to see Gary White's call for papers on race and physics teaching. We definitely think that the physics teaching and learning of students from diverse and minority backgrounds is an important issue to discuss, especially given the fact that bias and discrimination are common experiences in the lives of many Latinx, including school-age children and college students. Interestingly, the call for papers focused on race, a socio-historic construct that developed centuries ago as the most effective tool of domination produced during the first stages of capitalism and that helped established European colonialism worldwide. We argue that a discussion on physics and education must include ethnicity as well. We see ethnicity as a perceived group membership based on shared nationality, ancestry, history, culture, or language. Ethnicity is an equally important construct within multicultural education. It can be argued that both race and ethnicity are key dimensions in the development of collective identities, and both can impact the educational interactions in the classroom. Multicultural education has gained great strides toward equal educational access for groups of racial and ethnic minorities in the last decades. However, this process has not been homogeneous or all encompassing. In the following pages, we will examine physics teaching in Puerto Rico to illustrate the hurdles facing minority students and to provide potential solutions to these barriers. This article will assist physics teachers across the nation in becoming more aware of how race and ethnicity contextualize physics and how it will affect students' reception of the discipline.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Puerto Rico
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A