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December 3-5

Embracing the Future: Astronomy Teaching and Public Engagement

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference

ASP2020: A Virtual Conference
Preliminary Schedule


Click here for the Schedule-at-a-Glance
Humanizing ASTR 101-Inspired by Indigenous Knowledge Systems
What if having more culturally interesting, more culturally responsive STEM classes is a way of increasing the diversity of the science and engineering workforce in the US? This study focuses on a topic that has been generally overlooked by the STEM educational community, but one that is directly relevant to student engagement and learning outcomes: the role of culture as a variable in student learning.

Based on the current crises in the U.S. workforce (LaPrade et al. 2019; Deming and Noray 2018), the U.S. higher education (Carlson 2018; Christensen 2013; McGowan 2019; Selingo 2018), and in STEM education (Manduca et al. 2017; Deming and Noray 2018) it is time to widen the approach to teaching and learning in STEM higher education. A historical look at the origins of the university system and of western European science clearly shows a one culture, one class, one gender approach. Recall the original university system (in England) was meant for the top 24% of society (Aikenhead 2017). A look at the present day higher education system clearly shows monumental changes including: globalization, technology, personalization, looped learning, and the internet - all of which have led to the massification and diversification of post-secondary education. And yet 55% of STEM classrooms in the U.S. are still using eighty percent of their class time in lecturing format (Stains et al. 2018). This mismatch demands an update, a re-calibration of the very definition of what teaching and learning means in STEM higher education. It makes sense that students in general education college-level introductory STEM courses are not necessarily preparing for discipline-based graduate school, but definitely preparing for life, work, wellness, and civic participation. In this sense culturally responsive, Indigenous knowledge systems inspired, active learning STEM education is empowering for all.

Presented here will be specific examples of culturally relevant learning woven throughout ASTR101.
Conference Strand: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Social Justice



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