We Be Burnin’! Agency, Identity and Science Learning

April 1st, 2010 | RESEARCH

This article investigates the development of agency in science among low-income urban youth aged 10 to 14 as they participated in a voluntary year-round program on green energy technologies conducted at a local community club in a midwestern city. Focusing on how youth engaged a summer unit on understanding and modeling the relationship between energy use and the health of the urban environment, we use ethnographic data to discuss how the youth asserted themselves as community science experts in ways that took up and broke down the contradictory roles of being a producer and a critic of science/education. Our findings suggest that youth actively appropriate project activities and tools in order to challenge the types of roles and student voice traditionally available to students in the classroom. We Be Burnin'!


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Team Members

Angela Calabrese Barton, Author, Michigan State University
Edna Tan, Author, Michigan State University


Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1080/10508400903530044

Publication: Journal of the Learning Sciences
Volume: 19
Number: 2
Page(s): 187-229


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ITEST
Award Number: 0737642

Related URLs

Full Text via ResearchGate
Investigating Green Energy Technologies in the City: A Youth Based Project


Access and Inclusion: Low Socioeconomic Status | Urban
Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Computing and information science | Engineering | Technology
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Public Programs | Summer and Extended Camps