STEM pedagogy

DISSERTATION PROJECT

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Coloring Outside The Lines: Archive Cover

How does STEM pedagogy become key to envisioning new societal futures? 

My dissertation research examines how California’s educational and professional futures are being transformed by an array of programs and policies that refocus STEM pedagogy to meet the personal, community, and local needs of students and their environments. STEM educators today are advocating for innovative curricula that center students’ understandings of the world; hiring and training educators from underserved communities in STEM; and expanding STEM learning and teaching to out-of-school environments such as science centers, museums and community education. This study examines the array of ways K-12 STEM educators and administrators are enacting “next-generation” STEM pedagogy, working across state, non-profit, and corporate sectors. 

By examining the pedagogical ideals, aspirations, subjectivities, tactics, and working environments of STEM educators, this project underscores the critical role of pedagogy and its practitioners in the production, reproduction and circulation of scientific knowledge.

Woke Math

What is at stake in next-generation STEM education?

California Department of Education draft plan to revise the K-12 Mathematics Framework to make social justice issues central to how math is taught in middle and high schools met with resistance from several fronts, including 600 scientists and educators who have signed an open letter asking it to be withdrawn. It further emphasizes integrated tracks in middle schools to close the racial achievement gap and progression along with acceleration. Critics of the plan argue that math education should not "woke", pointing instead to other industrialized nations, especially in East Asia, from where students outperform American students in math. Meanwhile, educators continue to state that STEM education cannot remain apolitical in the wake of pandemics and protests. 

Collections At a Glance

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Sputnik Spurs Passage of the National Defense Education Act

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Publics: Exclusions & Inclusions in STEM Education

Webpage from the US Senate "Historical Highlights 1941-1963" about how the launch of the Sputnik in 1957 led to massive investment in education, designed to counter "strong resistance to federal aid to education" in the Senate for decades. But why the framing as a defense act?

"On the day Sputnik first orbited the earth, the chief clerk of the Senate’s Education and Labor Committee, Stewart McClure, sent a memo to his chairman, Alabama Democrat Lister Hill, reminding him that during the last three Congresses the Senate had passed legislation for federal funding of education, but that all of those bills had died in the House. Perhaps if they called the education bill a defense bill they might get it enacted. Senator Hill—a former Democratic whip and a savvy legislative tactician—seized upon on the idea, which led to the National Defense Education Act."

Trade Books: Scientists' Stories

From Collections:
Stories: People & Portraits
STE(A)MM: Creative Commoning
Publics: Inclusions & Exclusions in STEM Education

This is a collage made on Canva of book covers from the list "Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2022" published annually by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). 

The collection will comprise of found and created educator and practitioner biographies that aspire to create and mobilize STEM publics. This example represents the dilemma of the collection: How to make biographies while pushing back the narrative of the individual genius? How to tell stories about particular individuals and not reify their characterization?

EcoEd at RPI

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EcoEd: Legacies & Futures
STE(A)MM: Creative Commoning
CritSTEM: Openings & Obstacles

The EcoED program at RPI, New York. Started in 2012, the program connected undergraduate students at RPI to school students to bring "environmentally-focused" education into the K-12 classroom. Students from different majors designed environmental curricula oriented around complex systems and scales thinking to grapple with literacies and capacities critical to focus education as an important stakeholder in environmental advocacy and governance. As an experiment in developing educational capacities, the EcoEd program is a critical opening in thinking about what kind of science and science teaching is needed for complex problems. 

Creating Balance in an Unjust World Cover

From Collections:
Collectives: Action & Activism

Screenshot of the cover image of the conference Creating Balance in an Unjust World, in its 9th iteration. The 3-day conference brings together
educators, parents, activists, scholars, and community members exploring links between social justice and mathematics education. One of their overarching themes is culturally relevant and place-based pedagogy in STEM education. 

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