There is a pressing need for STEM educator learning models to substantively consider the diversity of STEM practices and values across social and cultural contexts, as well as how STEM fields are adapting to this diversity. As educators seek more meaningful approaches to equity that integrate everyday pedagogies, there is a further need to address how these pedagogies often reproduce inequitable STEM structures. This collaborative project seeks to address these challenges by designing, implementing, and studying an educator learning model that helps educators recognize and transform the moment-to-moment learning interactions that perpetuate racial inequalities across a myriad of STEM contexts. The project therefore aims to achieve two primary outcomes. First, to deepen educators' capacity to mediate the moment-to-moment tensions that arise between STEM concepts and practices privileged in schools, and those that attend to students' cultural and intellectual lives; and second, to generate knowledge on how to systematically support educators as they wrestle with the conceptual and ethical complexities of unjust STEM teaching and learning.
This three-year study is structured around a series of modules grounded in storywork, an Indigenous knowledge-systems approach to centering minoritized learners' language, history, phenomenon-based storylines, and their racialized experiences of systemic racism when co-designing STEM learning opportunities. Through long-standing partnerships between project leaders and K-12 and higher education STEM educators serving Indigenous, Black, and Latinx youth and families, the iterative design of modules is informed by the analysis of educator learning trajectories when codesigning through storywork. In addition to incorporating modules into higher education programs (e.g., teacher education and various STEM disciplinary courses), broadly sharing resources and tools with communities, practitioners, and researchers through multimedia outlets as well as academic and practitioner-facing publications and presentations, the project has the potential to inform foundational theory on developing highly adaptable approaches for more racially- and educationally- just educator-student interactions in STEM spaces.
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