Theme of the month

Theme of the Month

Join us each month as we focus on a topic of interest to STEM Teacher Leaders with a webinar panel, open
discussion, resources and blog post. 

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Join the Discussion: The Challenge of Creating Equity in Science Education

In this facilitated discussion, we will discuss the challenges of creating equitable opportunities for teaching students in science education. We invite your participation!

Comments

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How do you think white informal STEM Ed teachers can promote equitable science education when we are limited in our ability to build relationships because we usually only see kids once?

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 7:48 PM Permalink

Good Morning Ms. Kimberly,

I think that one way is to gather information about the students and their environment before you meet them.  Maybe through a survey or conversations with previous teachers and or administrators.  Then use this as an avenue to build a relationship.  Discuss things about yourself, ask them questions about themselves and what they hope to gain from you being their instructor.

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 10:30 AM Permalink
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In reply to by Kimberly Lichtenberger

Hi Kimberly,

 

Great question! I told only meet with the students in my program a few times a month. However I make myself available to them through email outside of our meetings. Another great way is to include engaging activities whenever you meet to get them to talk. Do icebreakers at the start of your sessions! 

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 6:44 PM Permalink

I make a point of learning and using the students names even if it is a one hour workshop. Names allow me to connect during a whole class discussion or moving around the room. Give a little and get a LOT (as in it takes a little effort on my part, but having students participate and feel recognized makes my job easier).

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 12:05 PM Permalink

It’s important that we don’t take the approach that color does not matter. Having a safe classroom environment is key so diverse students feel comfortable asking questions. Building relationships where you share about your experiences allows for a communication platform where different perspectives can be shared & understood. Finally create experiences in the science classroom that are relevant to their circumstances.

Fri, 03/19/2021 - 11:33 AM Permalink
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In reply to by Alicia Conerly

Thank you for your feedback.  I have been invested in this 21 day challenge and I have found it helpful to focus on my own bias and grow in knowledge and perspectives.  https://mlpp.org/21-day-racial-equity-challenge/  This is an equity challenge that is transformational (if you have a growth mindset :)

 

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 8:10 AM Permalink

Melany,

Thank you for asking such an important question about supporting all of our students when we are white educators. I appreciate the advice we are getting. Thanks also for posting the 21 day challenge - my initial impression is that this site if full of relevant and meaningful resources.

 

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:01 PM Permalink

I Agree with Dr. Delesbore, create science experiences that are relevant to students circumstances, I also agree with Alicia with being yourself, being authentic and having compassion, students can see through you if you are not, especially through your body language. 

Thu, 03/25/2021 - 11:29 PM Permalink
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This is your moderator, Dr. Sharon Delesbore, also known as “Dr. D.” and welcome to the continuation of our conversation. We welcome your comments, thoughts and questions. Diversity, equity & inclusion must remain at the forefront of our minds at all times so we can ignite the atmosphere to boldly make changes to policy, protocols, procedures & classroom environments that are culturally & ethically nurturing to the engagement of our science students.

Fri, 03/19/2021 - 11:28 AM Permalink
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In reply to by Sharon Delesbore

Dr. D.,

You and the entire panel were on my mind this morning as I had my first science class after spring break. With our current schedule I rotate through elementary grades as a specials teacher (everyday for 3 weeks per grade) and students have science for two rotations during the year. I actually had not seen these kindergarten students since October.

I decided to spend the class re-establishing relationships and checking in with the kids. I structured an activity I called "What's new with you?" over zoom as a way to open conversations. The kids were so excited to share! Whether it was losing teeth, or sharing a new baby was coming to the family, it was so valuable to let each child be seen and heard.

Relationships are key to making students feel valued, capable and that STEM is for them. It was well worth the time. I know I will have better engagement tomorrow because of the steps I took today.

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:12 PM Permalink
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Great Day Everyone!  This is one of your panelist Alicia Conerly.  I am still in awe about the rich conversations and interactions we all had from Thursday.  I am here to assist with any questions, concerns, or feedback you all may have from the webinar.  I hope to hear fro you all soon.

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 10:41 AM Permalink
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Hi everyone! What a great webinar. I was so honored to be apart of the discussion. Please post your questions. I am here to assist.

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 6:46 PM Permalink
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Thanks for lifting the importance of nurturing relationships, knowing your students, and inclusion of role models.  Unless under resourced schools are given what they need and teachers receive relevant professional learning along with autonomy, safe working conditions and comparable pay to suburban counterparts, we will keep going around the same mountain.  I’m for accountability but the testing industrial complex needs to be reimagined.

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 9:16 PM Permalink
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