research to learn more about students' community
actions to address harms linked to fields of
science & technology.
Some Action Research Results
Action research approaches have helped collaborators and me to learn much about promoting student-led research-informed and negotiated social actions (RiNA) through science education in different contexts. Some general findings are provided in sub-sections below:
Many students have developed & implemented relatively succesful RiNA projects.
More examples of RiNA projects developed and implemented by students in school and non-school context are available at:
Over the years, graduate students and I have had the pleasure of working with several wonderful teachers using the STEPWISE framework. A teacher in the Peel District School Board (PDSB), Mr. Mirjan Krstovic, worked with me for at least 3 successive years and has experienced many successes promoting RiNA projects among students in his classes. In his online blog, he describes some things he has learned along the way.
Many teaching & learning resources have been developed for use with the STEPWISE framework.
Again, over the years, graduate students and teachers have developed many very effective teaching & learning materials for use with the STEPWISE framework. Many of these are provided in chapters of the STEPWISE edited book. But, many others are available at different locations on this STEPWISE site. A particularly ambitious set of resources were developed a few years ago. Based on actor-network theory, we call these resources 'multi-actant documentaries' (MADs). Developing using Prezi™ software, these documentaries (HERE) provide some information about a variety of living, nonliving and symbolic actants; but, crucially, they do not directly indicate relationships among actants - leaving such decisions for students to determine through further research and discussion.
The project has generated a theoretical and practical framework for curriculum development & implementation.
Descriptions of characteristics of the theoretical (tetrahedral) and pedagogical (linear) versions of STEPWISE are available here.
We have developed conclusions about various factors contributing to teacher successes with STEPWISE.
Major factors that appeared to enable teachers to effectively implement STEPWISE included:
There are various ways educators and others can become involved with the STEPWISE project. Some of these, along with benefits, are discussed below.
Professional Development Opportunities
We are mainly interested in conducting research as we work - usually over several months - with teachers and others to implement teaching/learning approaches that promote principles of STEPWISE. Sometimes, however, I (and/or graduate students with whom I work) offer shorter (e.g., 1-2 hours) seminars and/or workshops - as suggested here.
Facilitated Action Research Opportunities
It seems clear that, while professional development seminars, workshops, etc. can help teachers to implement new teaching/learning practices, STEPWISE implementation can significantly benefit from facilitated action research. This implies that one or more members of our team would work as a 'Researcher/Facilitator' of educators' action research. In other words, we would work to support a teacher in implementing STEPWISE-informed perspectives and practices, while leaving final decisions to the teacher; and, while doing so, collect documentary information (mostly as qualitative research). Usually in this work, we negotiate with the teacher her/his area of research and development focus. This list of suggested topics for teaching and learning in each learning domain of the STEPWISE framework may, however, be a useful starting point.
Joining Our Latest Project: Community Action Groups & Relationships with Science Education
A theoretical framework for our research into the nature of CAGs and their existing and potential relationships with science education context is provided below:
Broadly, this research aims to learn about:
Join Us in Mobilizing STEPWISE
Although we have had some significant successes with the STEPWISE framework, it is quite clear to us that it only seems feasible in relatively few contexts that have several cooperating conditions - as discussed above. So, to spread uses of STEPWISE or STEPWISE-like perspectives and practices, we would like people who are committed to causes noted here to join us in working to further promote such a breadth of mutually-supporting conditions. If this interests you, please contact me (email@example.com) asap.
Publication Opportunities in Collaborating with the STEPWISE Team
In working with teachers, student-teachers, community youth educators and others, we usually try to involve them in publications relating to their work with us. Typically, these start with conference presentations before moving to publishing in journals and books. Some possibilities include:
to Join STEPWISE
To broaden the scope of STEPWISE implementation and research, we feel we must work with a great variety of people and groups in education, at least including (in no particular order): teachers, students, consultants, principals, government officials, school district officials, community activists, etc. Broadly, our goals include learning about education from participants, but also helping them to learn and to publish their work - which we have done in numerous ways, as indicated on my online CV. If you are interested in working with us (usually graduate students and me) in various ways, please write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. To help with your decision to join us, you may find the invitational flyer linked at left useful. The project summary here also may help.