Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type



Educational Studies

Director of Thesis

Dean Jon Pedersen

Second Reader

Dr. Nate Carnes


Middle school science has a stigma of being a boring subject area from the student’s perspectives due to the spoon-fed characteristics and the lack of real-world connections in the curriculum design. The low-level student engagement and motivation in the science classroom often contribute to students’ low academic achievement, especially those who have been underserved in the educational system. In addition, with a view to addressing the increasing diversity in the classroom, teachers are encouraged to practice culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) in the lessons so they can reach every student and make the class learning experience more meaningful and relevant to their cultural identities. This thesis aimed to document how I designed and carried out a diversity and inquiry focused science curriculum unit that sought to address the two issues and reflect on the implementation of the unit plan and the student learning outcome; discussed the limitations of the project; and indicated areas of growth for improvements. Results of this project suggested positive growth in academic achievement, cultural competence, student engagement, as well as a positive perspective change on science.

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