Exploring Racial Consciousness in Science Education

Title: Exploring Racial Consciousness in Science Education

a. Focus and relevance to ASTE Membership:

This workshop focuses upon the experiences of two science education faculty members who teach pre-service science teachers to challenge their beliefs and assumptions about their students and colleagues of different races and ethnicities. As teachers of preservice and inservice science teachers, it is imperative that we work with our students regarding their beliefs and assumptions about their students. Additionally, we as instructors must also be consciously aware and open to learning about our own beliefs.

Overall Goals

Goal 1: Participants learn about a project where teacher educators described their journeys in “interrogating whiteness”.
Goal 2: Participants are engaged in activities that are used in college level pre-service science teacher coursework to consider one’s own assumptions about culture and race with implications for student learning.

Outline with Outcomes

1) Participants will think about their own experiences (personal or classroom teaching) where they investigated or considered their own experience challenging their own assumptions and ideas about culture.
Instructional strategies: a) We begin with an overview of the background of this work (Nicole Russell) – 5 minutes. Followed by b) participants sharing about their own experiences (small group, then large group) – 15 minutes (Effectiveness will be measured by observing active sharing of each person in small groups.)

2) Participants will learn about examples of two faculty members who will share about their stories represented in this work via a short power point presentation – 20 minutes total.
Instructional strategies: Power point presented interactively. (Effectiveness will be measured by the number of participants actively asking questions and/or taking notes.) (Martin-Hansen, 2015 anticipated; Rodriguez, 2015 anticipated).

3) Participants will actively participate in activities that connect ideas about culture with science education.
Instructional strategies: Pre- and in-service teachers, as well as teacher educators, often ask for concrete examples of pedagogical strategies that would enable them to engage their students in reflective and culturally inclusive activities. Professor Rodriguez will model some these activities by first having participants examine their definitions of core terms, such as equity vs. equality; race vs. ethnicity; diversity vs. uniformity; social justice vs. social injustice; gender vs. biological/chosen sex; cross-cultural vs. mono-cultural education. This discussion will be followed by specific examples of how these core concepts can be incorporated in our teaching practice in culturally and socially relevant ways (Rodriguez & Kitchen, 2005; Rodriguez, 2008; Rodriguez, 2002; Rodriguez, 2015). 40 minutes. (Effectiveness will be measured by the active participation of individuals in small groups as well as the quality of discussion following discussion.)

Instructional strategies: The second activity is to examine a lesson plan and suggest modifications based upon a scenario where a preservice teacher had gathered specific information from two students regarding their cultural capital and information about culturally relevant pedagogy (Martin-Hansen, 2010). (20 minutes) Effectiveness will be measured by the type/quality of suggested revisions by each small group.

4) Participants pull together big ideas and make recommendations (a “committed action plan”) for their future teaching. Instructional strategies: Small group discussion, large group sharing. (15-20 minutes)

d. Ongoing contact
We will follow via email with the participants to continue conversation, ideas, and to ask question in our work on an ongoing basis so that we may all support each other.

e. ASTE membership most interested in your presentation
Methods instructors would be the primary audience, however there are aspects regarding our cultural examples (or lack thereof), and pedagogy that connect with curriculum development. Therefore, it would be helpful for researchers and curriculum developers to hear and experience the workshop as well.

f. Expertise and/or experience of the workshop presenters
Nicole M. Joseph is one of the editors of the upcoming book where the two science educators in the workshop (Alberto J. Rodriguez and Lisa Martin-Hansen) contributed. Both Drs. Rodriguez and Martin-Hansen teach using strategies to challenge ideas regarding culture in science education courses.

g. There is no cost to attend this workshop. We will not use videos but will provide handouts. We can work with up to 50 participants.