Transforming Students' Partnerships with Scientists through Cogenerative Dialogues
The University of Texas at El Paso will conduct a research project that implements and documents the impact of co-generative dialogues on youth learning and youth-scientist interactions as part of a STEM research program (i.e., Work with A Scientist Program). Co-generative dialogues seek to specifically assist with communication and understanding among collaborators. Over four years, 108 11th grade youth from a predominantly (90%) Hispanic high school will conduct STEM research with twelve scientists/engineers (e.g., chemist, civil engineer, geologist, biologist) and undergraduate/graduate students as part of 7 month-long after school program, including bi-weekly Saturday activities for 5 months followed by an intensive month-long, self-directed research project in the summer. Youth will be randomly assigned to experimental groups that include the co-generative dialogue treatment and control groups without the intervention. The scientists and their STEM undergraduate/graduate students will participate in both experimental and control groups, with different youth. Youth will receive high school credit to encourage participation and retention. The PI team hypothesizes that co-generative dialogues will result in improved learning, communication, and research experiences for both youth and scientists. Educational researchers will conduct co-generative dialogues, observations, interviews, and surveys using validated instruments to address the following research goals: (1) To investigate the impact of the treatment (co-generative dialogues) on youth knowledge, attitudes, perceptions of their experience, and their relationships with the scientists; (2) To investigate the impact of the treatment on scientists and graduate students; and (3) To identify critical components of the treatment that affect youth-scientist interactions. It is anticipated that, in addition to providing in-depth STEM research experiences for 108 youth from underrepresented groups at a critical time in their lives, the project will result in widely applicable understandings of how pedagogical approaches affect both youth learning and scientist experiences. The project also seeks to bridge learning environments: informal, formal, university and digital.