Increased focus on school accountability and teacher performance measures have resulted in STEM instruction that emphasizes content and procedural knowledge over critical thinking and real-world applications. Yet, critical thinking and application are essential in developing functional scientific literacy skills among students. This need is perhaps most pressing in economically depressed urban settings. One strategy to promote STEM engagement and learning is to make clear and meaningful connections between STEM concepts, principles, and STEM-related issues relevant to the learner. Socioscientific issues (SSI) and the Social Justice STEM Pedagogies (SJSP) framework can provide a powerful avenue for promoting the desired kinds of engagement. This collaborative research project is designed to investigate the effectiveness of a professional development (PD) program for STEM teachers to develop their pedagogical content knowledge in teaching SSI and SJSP.
Understanding STEM Teaching through Integrated Contexts in Everyday Life (Collaborative Research: Johnson)