- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758498
- First Name Wren
- Last Name Walker Robbins
- Institution Salish Kootenai College
- Role/Position Department Chair, Secondary Education
- Workshop Category Track 1: Scholarships and Stipends
- Workshop Disciplines Audience Math
- Target Audience Noyce Master Teachers, Noyce Teaching Fellows, Project PIs / Co-PIs / Other Faculty/Staff, School and District Administrators, Undergraduate and/or Graduate Noyce Scholars
- Topics STEM Content Area and/or Convergent Discipline Skills Development
- Session Length 30 minutes
- Additional Presenter(s)
Jedd Tougas, firstname.lastname@example.org, Noyce Scholar
1] Present a working model that integrates culture, Indigenous language, and STEM disciplines. The experience builds participants’ ability to use a third space approach that helps them invite children’s identities into STEM education and develops connections with local communities and school districts. 2] Provide specific examples of how we’ve implemented the model in our teacher education programs and in a local K-12 classroom and invite participants to explore a lesson that integrates literacy, social studies, and STEM. 3] Share our framework for documenting the impact of these practices through future research
Integrative approaches to STEM education increases relevance for students and teachers (Honey, Pearson, & Schweingruber, 2014). When subjects are approached in this manner, motivation, student interest, achievement, and persistence can be improved or enhanced (Honey, Pearson, & Schweingruber, 2014). Integrated approaches are reflected in recent standards including Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). The NGSS explicitly incorporating cross-cutting concepts as a link between domains of science (Honey, Pearson, & Schweingruber, 2014). The NGSS also places engineering concepts next to science concepts, which emphasizes the expectation that science teachers will teach science and engineering in an integrative manner (Honey, Pearson, & Schweingruber, 2014). “The basic point is that the ideas and practices of science, mathematics, and technology are so closely intertwined that we do not see how education in any one of them can be undertaken well in isolation from the others” [NRC, 1996] A meta-analysis of research indicates that integrative teaching positively impacts; coherent concept development, depth of knowledge, opportunities for individualization, motivation improvements, enhanced sense of community, brain development, and overall achievement effects (Michigan Department of Ed, 2014). While we feel that integrative STEM teaching is a positive first step, we have also worked to extend our integrative approach using culturally sustaining pedagogies that view language, culture, and literacies tied to specific cultures as essential parts of curriculum and teaching (Paris, 2012). This level of integration extends STEM education into the personal and communal ways of being and knowing. In the past, integrative approaches have viewed students from underserved communities through deterministic lenses that invited stereotypical responses to meeting their needs. To reduce this reductionist tendency, students need to be invited into learning spaces that embrace not only their cultural traditions but who they are in the context of the modern world. The integrative approach that we’ve found useful is the concept and use of the third space (Gutiérrez, 2008). In this approach, “curriculum and its pedagogy are grounded in the historical and current particulars of students’ everyday lives, while at the same time oriented toward an imagined possible future” (Gutiérrez, 2008). In this modality, students are not asked to leave their identities at the classroom door but rather are encouraged to explore the natural world through their authentic selves.
In this workshop, participants will build skills to use culturally sustaining pedagogies that integrate STEM, culture, Indigenous language, and students’ identities. These methods utilize a third space approach developed working with students of color, which asserts that students’ perspectives are funds of knowledge that are inherently valuable. Participants will explore how this approach helps build community connections in undeserved communities, and explore a framework for documenting the impact of integrative practices. Participants will also examine specific examples of how this approach has been applied to elementary and secondary education curricula, a K-12 classroom, and an outreach program in a reservation community.