Beginning School-University Partnerships for Transformative Social Change in Science Education: Narratives From The Field

These narratives explore what it might entail to begin school–university partnerships towards the goal of transformative social changes through the voices of two women scholars of color. Using two school–university partnerships as focal cases, we unpack the complexity, tensions, and possibilities that arise through collaborations driven by the objective to promote new and more just forms of science learning within public schools. In this article, we use three key dimensions of participatory design research (namely, critical historicity, power, and relationality) as analytical lenses through which to reflect upon school–university partnerships that we are in the beginning stages of forming. Through this methodology, we shed light on: (a) the historical genealogies of equity-oriented work and (b) the tensions that we encountered as we strived for beginning partnerships with K-12 schools. These narratives unveil the dynamic and contentious nature of forming school–university partnerships that always occurs within a sociopolitical landscape impacted by intersecting and powered identity markers, including those around race, gender, language, culture, and status. We provide specific recommendations for supporting education researchers who aspire to transform the learning of sciences at schools through a collaborative and sustainable partnership. These recommendations include ideas around how to collectively generate goals with schools centered on transformative science learning; attention to the role of language and race in shaping partnership role-remediation; and creating infrastructure for developing school–university partnerships toward transformative social changes, including financial, human and relational resources, as well as new forms of recognition systems.

Kang, H. & González-Howard, M. (2022). Beginning school-university partnerships for transformative social change in science education: Narratives from the field. Science Education.