Policy ForumScience Education

Disparities in science literacy

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Science  25 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6391, pp. 861-862
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar8480

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  • Science literacy may be depending not on races but on annual income

    Nick Allum et al. wrote an article entitled “Disparities in science literacy” (1). Japanese ministry of education has studied the relationship between mathematical skills (6th grade of elementary school) and annual income (2). The result shows that poor family kids (less than 2 million yen per year) favor a family subject over mathematics while rich family kids (more than 10 million yen per year) favor arithmetic over family subjects. The family subject in Japanese classes is a subject that aims to acquire views, knowledge and skills necessary for family life. Another Japanese study shows that mathematics/reading skills in the 6th grade are proportional to annual income of the family (3). Based on Japanese studies on children literacy, there is no significant difference between adults (1) and children. In other words, the richer, adults/children have the higher scores in mathematics than the poor. Science literacy may be depending not on races but on annual income.

    References:
    1. Nick Allum et al., “Disparities in science literacy” Science 25 May 2018: Vol. 360, Issue 6391, pp. 861-862
    2. http://tmaita77.blogspot.com/2016/06/blog-post_7.html
    3. http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/hakusho/html/hpab200901/detail/1296707.htm

    Competing Interests: None declared.