Greetings to all Division A graduate student members!
This year, we had our first GSC thank-you get-together orientation in San Antonio. Division A graduate students represent approximately 30% of Division A’s total membership, we are dedicated to have Division A and AERA hear our voices and continue to provide various platforms to our graduate student members. I am proud to announce that 2017-18 in-coming GSC members will keep this tradition in the following year. The new GSC members are a group of talented and resourceful individuals. Some of them are former participants of our scholarship/mentorship initiatives (e.g., Dialogic Forum, Foster-Polite Scholar, Clark Scholar); some of them have participated in AERA & UCEA events for years; some of them have publication experiences. We are going to have another great year in working with all of you!
It was a privilege to lead, coordinate and organize this year's Dialogic Forum, and to work with the wonderful scholars and mentors who participated. The enthusiasm for this gathering was expressed in this year's evaluations, as participants indicated a very positive experience with some of them wishing for more time to learn from one another. This is a great model for collaboration, networking, advising and growth in research design. I hope even more scholars and mentors will participate next year!
-Amy L. Gearhart, Chair
Distinguished panelists included Dr. Alexis Martin, Dr. Erin Peters-Burton, and Dr. Tia Madkins. Dr. Alexis Martin is the Director of Research at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, where she conducts research on issues of access and opportunity in the technology pipeline. Prior to her work with the Kapor Center, Dr. Martin taught future educators at U.C. Berkeley & Sonoma State University and worked with teachers in professional development inquiry groups examining equity in their classrooms. She has also taught high school social studies and done outreach with students who were the first in their families to attend college.
Dr. Peters-Burton's experience as an engineer and a secondary science teacher for 15 years helps her relate research to practice in science and engineering education. She has won several state and national awards for her work in secondary science education and holds a National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science. In 2005, Dr. Peters-Burton was selected as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow for the NASA where she advised the agency in their development of curriculum for teachers across the United States. Her work at NASA led her to be chosen as a member of the committee developing the first K-12 National Engineering Standards. In addition to her work with science education in Virginia and nationally, she spends time doing classroom research in developing student scientific epistemologies. Her work has shown promise in demonstrating a connection between content knowledge and nature of science knowledge. She continues to develop research projects that investigate ways that students and teachers can utilize self-regulation not only to learn scientific knowledge but also to learn how scientific knowledge is developed and validated.
Dr. Tia Madkins is the postdoctoral scholar for the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows in the Center for STEM Education at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Madkins’ research interests include K-12 STEM teaching and learning with emphases on equity-focused elementary science education and teacher education. Her research also focuses on teacher workforce diversification with an emphasis on increasing the number of Black women in teaching via alternate routes into the teaching profession.
The panelist discussed the following central question: How do we [STEM educators- practitioners and leaders] transform the power of STEM knowledge and scholarly discourses into public will, engaging practice, and responsive policy?
The discussion included the panelists thoughts on:
- How do you identify STEM education?
- How is that identification different from the perceptions of STEM afforded by current policies in the nation?
- In what way(s) do you envision equal opportunity in STEM education affordable to all students now and the future?
- Gender, race and ethnicity have been identifiers of academic achievement gaps among students. For instance, test scores on the NAEP Mathematics tests for 4 and 8th graders have shown a persistent 20+ achievement gap for at least two decades among whites and their black and Hispanic counterparts. However, NAEP scores also show that all students have higher average scores for example in 2011 than they did in 1990. Does this mean that we are improving in STEM education? Please elaborate with a focus on what factors you feel are major barriers or facilitators for addressing equal opportunity in STEM Education.
- What are the pathways to achieving equal educational opportunity in STEM Education?
- What implications do such pathways have towards STEM Educational leadership? What are your thoughts on how that looks/ will look like in our K-12 school system? In higher education?
- In summary, where do you currently see equal opportunity and leadership in STEM education heading towards? What implication(s) will that have on K-12 and higher education institutions?
Those attending engaged in the discussion with the panelists in an interactive way and greatly enjoyed the conversation as we grappled with current issues in STEM Education and Leadership.