STEPWISE is a general framework for lessons and student activities intended to help all students 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' tendencies to facilitate private sector uses of science and technology (e.g., regarding fossil fuel burning) that often prioritize private profit over wellbeing of most individuals, societies and environments.
For more information and/or to get involved in the project,
contact me at: email@example.com.
Needs for Critical and Active Civic Engagement
The major goal of STEPWISE, reflected in its initial tetrahedral shape, is to encourage and enable students to altruistically 'spend' some of their knowledge, skills, attitudes, etc. to develop and take informed and negotiated personal and social actions to overcome harms to wellbeing of individuals, societies and environments that they believe are associated with fields of science and technology (and with engineering, mathematics and other disciplines). STEPWISE is, in other words, fundamentally an educational approach prioritizing general communitarian values.
Accordingly, STEPWISE prioritizes sociopolitical 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.
Teachers Need to Nurture Students Towards Critical & Active Civic Engagement
Based on research, it seems clear that most (or many) students are unlikely to desire or be able to critically evaluate products and services of science and technology and develop and take actions to address harms they identify without prior lessons and student activities largely facilitated by teachers. Although there may be numerous ways teachers can organize such lessons and activities, I have developed (rearranging the tetrahedral form) - in collaboration with my research and publication team - the schema below to help educators prepare lessons and activities to encourage and enable students to develop and implement effective civic actions to overcome harms they have associated with fields of science and technology:
The above schema aims to prepare students for eventually self-directing 'RiNA' projects to address harms they perceive in STSE relationships. Although, as emphasized below, education from teachers and others are likely very important, students can become motivated to act and know where to 'aim' their actions if they first conduct secondary (e.g., Internet searches) and primary (e.g., studies and/or experiments) research to learn more about STSE relationships and potential harms in them. Given that research results are not always clear-cut, students' actions should, then, be based on negotiations they have with peers about relative merits of data and theory available to them about STSE relationships. Finally, to avoid being overly-influenced by people and groups with power, such research-informed and negotiated actions (RiNA) should be student-directed and open-ended; that is, led by students and leading to many possible - not pre-determined - conclusions.
Getting Involved in our STEPWISE Project
If you are interested in learning more about STEPWISE and/or getting involved in working with my research and publication team, you might first read through the rest of the STEPWISE site and/or read the attached overviews (Findings; Summary) and then contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.