Practice Brief 57

How place-based science education strategies can support equity for students, teachers, and communities

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Why It Matters To You
  • Teachers should connect science learning experiences in and out of the classroom to students’ sense of place, cultural perspectives, and community assets and issues.
  • District Staff & PD Providers should empower teachers with resources, examples, strategies and opportunities to foster a sense of place and build a community of educators and students.
  • School Leaders should support pathways to connect schools to communities, including specific strategies for science learning to take place outside of the classroom.

What Is The Issue?

Meaningful interactions with elders, scientists, and community partners focused on studying locally relevant phenomena and identifying authentic design problems can engage students in learning in a way that teaching abstract concepts or broader global issues may not. It can also foster local agency, responsibility, accountability, and relationships through the development of a shared sense of place. Place-based science education is fundamentally transdisciplinary and cross-cultural, fostering scientific communication practices needed to address existing and emerging problems while truly involving stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.

Authors:

BY SARAH COLEMAN, PAULINE CHINN, DEB MORRISON & LAUREN KAUPP | MARCH 2019


Reflection Questions

  • Where do you see opportunities to strengthen connections to local land & community? What ways of knowing are culturally and/ or scientifically relevant?
  • How will you recognize success in your place-based efforts?
  • What are local examples of language reflecting historical power dynamics / inequities?

Things to Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take



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Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.