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Before the Pandemic: Past Attempts to Redress Health Disparities via Science Education and their Pathologizing Effects

February 11 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Before the Pandemic: Past Attempts to Redress Health Disparities via Science Education and their Pathologizing Effects
STS Lunch Seminar with Katie Kirchgasler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Thursday, February 11th, 12:30-1:30, via Zoom

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Since the 1980s, a key component of the U.S. federal agenda to address health disparities has been to design a different form of science education for target student populations. These reforms cite the correlation of disparities in health, science achievement, and scientific careers. One effect has been to triangulate a figure of the ‘underrepresented minority’ (URM) as a distinct pedagogical kind, presumed to require a different form of science education. Another effect has been to channel resources for redressing systemic inequities into a humanitarian model of intervention. That humanitarian model, I argue, pathologizes the cognition, lifestyle choices, and career aspirations of the ‘URM.’ This pathologizing move comes into relief with hindsight. In the talk, I examine how science/health pedagogies designated for ‘URM’ students in recent decades compare with those designed for students in segregated and colonial schools a century prior. I outline key shifts in the biopolitical formation of science classrooms as sites of humanitarian intervention—underscoring persistent racializing and depoliticizing effects. The current pandemic has only intensified calls for interdisciplinary, cross-sector reforms to address educational and health equity in tandem. This talk aims to foster dialogue about the ethico-political stakes of these reforms by resituating them in historical perspective.

Related readings:

Moving the lab into the field: The making of pathologized (non)citizens in US science education

Details

Date:
February 11
Time:
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:
Website:
https://uwmadison.zoom.us/j/94978671234?pwd=L0k5ZnQ0T3o4TS9OakhrTEFKU0pKUT09