& learning strategies for promoting critical
& activist science education
A major goal of the STEPWISE project is to learn - through action research - about the nature and extent of students' self-directed (SD/OE) 'RiNA' (research-informed & negotiated action) projects to address harms they perceive in STSE relationships. As illustrated at right, a student RiNA project may involve secondary and primary research to learn more about climate change and, based on findings, negotiated development and implementation of various actions to try to combat it.
Often, however, students struggle to self-direct high quality RiNA projects - often because they lack, more or less, expertise, confidence and motivation to do so. Accordingly, in working with teachers, we developed teaching & learning strategies and resources that appear to help students to gain sufficient expertise, confidence and motivation to autonomously conduct RiNA projects. Here, we provide some such strategies and resources.
schema for promoting civic
actions to address STSE harms
Although we recognize that there are likely many ways to promote student-led social actions through school science, we have found the schema described below to have worked well for many teachers:
Very broadly, the above pedagogy involves having teachers provide students with one or more sets of constructivism-informed, 3-phase, pedagogical lessons and activities before asking students to self-direct RiNA projects to address harms students perceive in STSE relationships. Brief descriptions, with some examples, of each phase of the pedagogical cycles are provided below:
Although the above brief outline of STEPWISE pedagogy may be helpful, some educators may appreciate elaborations of this pedagogy, with classroom-tested resources, available via: STEPWISE Pedagogy Annotations; EcoJust STEM Actions slides; STEPWISE Overview & AR Findings; RiNA Projects: Pedagogy Tips; and, STEPWISE Summary for Teachers.
Examples of specific teacher-developed lessons and students activities for this pedagogy are provided here.