- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Murphy, B.
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Connected science learning
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Roberts, K. (Ed.)Uniting social, emotional, and academic development is necessary to ensure all young people develop the thinking and feeling skills needed to succeed in a STEM-driven future. Scientific discoveries and technological innovations are transforming society, and while they may improve our quality of life, they also introduce social and ethical quandaries that young people must be equipped to navigate. For example, there are both opportunities and risks to using artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and renewable/alternative energy sources. Although the public discourse supports bringing STEM and social-emotional development (SED) together, and demands evaluation and measurement of outcomes, integrated STEM+SED in educational research, practice, and policy is largely abstract and aspirational. Given that jobs of the future will be STEM-focused and will require SED/21st-century skills—such as working in diverse teams, solving complex problems, and persevering through failures—it will be important to implement and measure STEM+SED together at the teaching and learning levels. To move the field toward meaningful integration of STEM+SED practices and skills, we convened a National Science Foundation (NSF)–funded virtual conference: Mapping Connections Between STEM and Social-Emotional Development (SED) in Out-of-School Time (OST) Programs. This conference—attended by 49 stakeholders from STEM and SED research, policy, and practice—focused on identifying the measurable STEM+SED qualities and skills important for youth success and prioritized by both fields. From this conference emerged consensus for a common frame to explore STEM+SED integration—focusing on Active Engagement, Agency, Belonging, and Reflection—which we and our partners are using to generate knowledge, resources, and tools to advance the integration of STEM+SED in formal and informal learning environments. The preliminary findings and recommendations from this conference provide a starting point for areas to prioritize, explore, and set the stage for more rigorous, relevant, andhigh-quality research on integrated STEM+SED. We begin by telling the story of our conference, including our initial focus on OST, our choice of the term “SED,” and our approach. We then show how discoveries during and after the conference push this essential STEM+SED agenda forward in research and practice. We conclude with recommendations by and for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to promote synergy between the fields of STEM and SED across all learning environments.more » « less
Objectives We examine the community epistemologies in youth’s iterative refinements of STEM-rich inventions across settings and time. Iteration in STEM-rich engineering/invention work refers to re-thinking ideas/designs within prototyping processes (Cunningham & Kelly, 2017). The objective of this paper is to examine the political dimensions of iteration through a) how iteration involves pre- and post-design “lives” of inventions especially towards new social futures, and b) the intentional incorporation of cultural epistemologies towards advancing new forms of legitimate inventor knowledge/practice (Yosso, 2005). Framing We draw from critical justice and consequential learning studies. Critical justice focuses on recognizing diversity and addressing structural inequalities perpetuated through systemic racism and classism. It seeks re-shifted relations of power and position within multiple scales-of-activity in learning, intersected with historicized injustices in learning environments. Consequential learning examines what matters to people, and how associated values and practices, when coordinated through social activity, allows for imagining new social futures (Gutierrez, 2012). Viewing the iterative process of inventing through a justice-oriented consequential lens calls into question traditional modes of knowing, and challenges/expands who and what areas of expertise are recognized and valued. Methods Our study takes place in two community makerspaces in mid-sized cities. Both center community engagement and support youth in designing/inventing to address problems they and their communities care about. Both also support minoritized youth in inventing through engagement with a wide range of community/STEM stakeholders. In researcher-educator roles, we collaborated with both makerspaces to establish programs supporting youth in sustained engagement in STEM and making/inventing in culturally-sustaining ways. In our two-year, longitudinal critical ethnography, data were generated in weekly community making sessions between 2016-2018. Data include artifacts, youth conversation groups, and videos capturing youth interaction with STEM and community experts at various stages in their design process. Analysis involved multiple stages and levels of coding based on open-coding and constant comparison procedures. Findings We ground our paper in four in-depth longitudinal cases of youth’s iterative design work: Nila’s light-up #stopracism sign; Su’zanne’s massaging slipper, Sharon’s geodesic play dome, and Jazmyn’s portable fan. Across cases, we illustrate three findings. First, youth located broader injustices within local making/inventing discourses with support from community and STEM allies, suggesting youth drew from multiple epistemologies, some grounded in community cultural wealth, others in STEM. For example, Su’Zanne drew from a familial culture of care and resistance in recognizing injustices nested in homelessness while iterating a way to make her slipper “more massaging.” The geodesic dome youth-makers drew from collective solidarity/resistance in making a structure for younger peers due to unjust lack of play infrastructure. Second, iterative engagement involving community wealth afforded further design and inventing experiences and expanded ownership over inventions across many stakeholders. For example, youth turned Nila’s #stopracism sign on during group discussions when they felt that racism needed to be foregrounded. Third, the afterlife of youth invention processes impacted the emergent inventor-maker culture through influencing the iterative process. Significance Iterations expand hybridization of cultural knowledge/practice and STEM-rich inventing, re-shaping whose cultural knowledge matters, and fostering justice-oriented collective outcomes.more » « less
Educating children and young people (CYP) from marginalized communities about environmental crises poses a unique dilemma as educators strive to prepare them to deal with the climate crisis without compounding the stressors and fear of an unlivable future many already face. We explored how place‐based civic science (PBCS) can provide opportunities to engage youth in environmental understanding and action through teamwork in which youth feel that they belong to a group larger than themselves and gain a sense of hope from working with others toward shared goals. We argue that combining PCBS pedagogies of collective action and collaborative learning spaces can help to buffer against distress as CYP grapple with global environmental crises.
We drew from qualitative responses (student reflections and public presentations) of 486 6–12th graders (majority students of color) on what they learned from participating in PBCS projects. Projects involved egalitarian partnerships between adults from environmental organizations, teachers and student teams studying and acting together to mitigate problems and presenting their efforts in public venues.
Students’ qualitative responses revealed an identification with their team and its goal forged through the work, respect for their voice, belief in their capacity and confidence to take collective action and even enjoyment of working together to address community concerns.
PBCS through collective learning/action in student teams and nonhierarchical intergenerational partnerships, and connections that CYP forge with organizations in the broader community, can help to build CYP’s agency and efficacy while addressing “emotionally heavy” issues such as climate change.
Abstract While there are many different frameworks seeking to identify what benefits young people might derive from participation in informal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning (ISL), this paper argues that the sector would benefit from an approach that foregrounds equity and social justice outcomes. We propose a new model for reflecting on equitable youth outcomes from ISL that identifies five key areas: (1) Grounded fun; (2) STEM capital; (3) STEM trajectories; (4) STEM identity work; and (5) Agency+ . The model is applied to empirical data (interviews, observations and youth portfolios) collected over one year in four UK-based ISL settings with 33 young people (aged 11–14), largely from communities that are traditionally under-represented in STEM. Analysis considers the extent to which participating youth experienced equitable outcomes, or not, in relation to the five areas. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for ISL and how the model might support ongoing efforts to reimagine ISL as vehicle for social justice.more » « less
null (Ed.)Research on citizen science programmes has highlighted that they can foster science content and knowledge gain, enhance pro-environmental behaviour and cultivate civic action among participants. Especially in the case of place-based citizen science, which requires hands-on repeated activity in an out-of-door setting through a scientific lens, evidence suggests that some of these outcomes may be linked to the unique people–place relationships and interactions afforded by such programmes. Even still, studies that empirically examine the influence of place on citizen science participant and programme outcomes are scant. This is due, in part, to the methodological challenges involved in interrogating complex aspects of a person's sense of place—aspects like place attachment—the emotional bonds between people and place. Here, an adapted three-dimensional model of place attachment is proposed as a theoretical framework from which place-based citizen science experiences and outcomes might be empirically examined in depth. The model, which posits personal, social and natural environment dimensions of place attachment is contextualized with research findings from the US-based Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) citizen science programme. Data from COASST suggest that participants do exhibit place attachment in all three dimensions of attachment, categorized within seven unique constructs, although questions remain regarding the unique intensity, make-up (shape) and scale (spatial, social and nature-science) of individual-level attachment along the three central dimensions. Critically, more research is needed to investigate whether the unique place attachment ‘profile’ of participants is a function of personal, social or programmatic variables pre- and post-programme participation. To encourage further scholarship on potential links between the experiences, exposures and programme components of place-based citizen science and the place attachment profiles of participants, this paper includes a brief review of the research opportunities presented by the adapted three-dimensional place attachment model discussed. Advancing this line of inquiry is an important component of broader efforts to understand how sense of place is altered via place-based citizen science and whether or not that is linked to specific programme outputs or participant outcomes in science knowledge, ecological understanding and civic engagement.more » « less