- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758478
- First Name Jody
- Last Name Priselac
- Discipline Biology
Kathleen Clark, UCLA, firstname.lastname@example.org; Devyn Everts, UCLA,
Diverse perspectives in STEM fields can improve science (Purity et al. 2017). In recent years, there have been efforts to propel traditionally marginalized students from urban schools toward greater access to STEM fields. Rightfully so, the US government noted that positions in science fields will outnumber applicants by one million in 2018 (President’s Council of Advisors and Technology, 2012). STEM education is where this work can begin, but we argue for a broader purpose, one that goes beyond fulfilling tomorrow’s STEM careers. We aim to advance a critical purpose driven stance in STEM education and integrate the development of identity and inclusion within STEM education. K-12 Teachers can begin to change the dominant paradigm, exposing students to broader purposes of STEM, ones that address greater humanistic challenges.
Research Focus: How do pre-service math and science teachers conceptualize and enact humanizing STEM?
STEM can provide a way to understand and participate in the world. Students are affected by STEM issues personally and in their community, including, 1) climate change, 2) diseases such as diabetes, cancer, 3) sustainability in energy, etc. It is essential that we have people who can engage in critical analytical thought regarding current and emerging issues. Accessing STEM toward the democratization, critical reflection and action presents a goal for our teacher education program. Humanizing STEM (H-STEM) embeds 1) STEM Identity, that builds self-efficacy and ownership of both the K-12 teacher and student, 2) STEM Task, one which is integrated, authentic and rigorous, and 3) STEM Discourse that supports both language and the potential advocacy in written and oral forms. Humanizing STEM is grounded in the broader constructs of Humanizing Pedagogy (Bartolomé, 1994) and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 2009.
We approach Humanizing STEM through a developing framework broadly founded on CRP and Humanizing Pedagogy toward the broader vision of increasing the access of traditionally underserved minorities in STEM fields and the democratization, and elevation of critical consciousness by K-12 students. We will share lesson plans, student work artifacts, and teacher reflections.
H-STEM can be an approach where teachers challenge K-12 students to think critically based on real-world and community issues grounded in STEM. The visibility and reflection on personal experience can be the key to shifting from ideology to critical thinking and action in our tenuous society. Our teachers have the amazing privilege to work with youth; our teachers can help open their mind to their dreams, possibilities and necessities so our world can continue forward with humanity. Not all of our students will become STEM professionals, but they will all be citizens of our country. Our work can contribute to the democratization of STEM education, especially in these challenging times of misinformation and the need to advocate for critical analysis and knowledge in STEM issues.