Alienation from science has sometimes been linked to the dominant discourse practices of secondary science classrooms. Differences in primary language practice have been related to social class, which has been a major referent in the discussion of equity issues in education (cf. Bernstein, 2000; Bourdieu, 1974; Lankshear, 1994; Lankshear, Atweh, & Christensen, 1994; the New London Group, 1996). A mismatch between the expectations of educators and the primary language practices of the majority of students is seen as leading to a cycle of increasing disadvantage for already disadvantaged students. In some areas of the curriculum, mass education in recent decades has prompted empowering curriculum reform, with accompanying changes in pedagogic discourses, to accommodate the needs of students from a wide range of backgrounds and promote social justice. However, in secondary science education, with its tendency towards elitism (Lemke, 1990; O'Loughlin, 1992), evidence of such changes is harder to find. However, it does exist and I believe it should be highlighted. My current project will use CDA to explore challenges to the dominant discourse in teacher-student interactions in science classrooms (cf. Luke, 2002)
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