STEPWISE is a schema for helping all students - via a series of teacher-led lessons and student activities - to develop expertise, confidence & motivation for eventually conducting student-directed and open-ended research-informed and negotiated action (RiNA) projects (like at right) to address harms they perceive in 'STSE' relationships. Encouraging such critical and active citizenship through science education appears extremely necessary, given governments' assistance in facilitating private sector uses of science and technology (e.g., regarding fossil fuel burning) that tend to prioritize private profit over wellbeing of most individuals, societies and environments.
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Rationale for Promoting Civic Actions Regarding Science & Technology
Helping school science and technology students to develop and implement plans of action to address harms linked to fields of science and technology seems imperative, mainly because governments, companies and other powerful entities have struggled (intentionally or not) to reduce or eliminate harms like cancer, diabetes and heart disease linked to manufactured foods, climate change from fossil fuels and poverty from tax avoidance.
Accordingly, STEPWISE prioritizes socio-political actions to overcome influences of powerful individuals (e.g., financiers) and groups (e.g., corporations, transnational trade organizations, banks, think tanks, universities, governments, etc.) on fields of science and technology (and most other entities) that are associated with harms to most individuals, societies and environments.
Teaching/Learning Approaches for Promoting Student-led Civic Actions
Based on theory and our research findings, it seems clear that students' civic actions to address harms linked to science and technology are not likely to be effective without prior lessons and student activities largely facilitated by teachers. The schema below has, accordingly, been developed to enable effective civic actions through science and technology education.
[This more sequential version of STEPWISE was developed after our research found that most teachers felt that the initial, tetrahedral version of it, was too impractical for uses in schools - since, for example, it implies working on all five domains (e.g., Skills & Products) at the same time.]
Broadly, the above more sequential - pedagogical - schema is based on some of the following major theoretical premises:
Action Research to Develop and Publish Claims About Factors Influencing Students' Actions
To help educate the world about the extent and nature of students' self-directed RiNA projects (EGs) and conditions influencing them, our team conducts research and publish findings in different outlets.