Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

B.S. Biology

Department

Honors

First Advisor

Dr. George Sirrakos

Abstract

This research project examines how social issues can be incorporated into science education, specifically secondary science course content. Within this project, a framework of an afterschool program was designed to encourage students of marginalized identities, namely historically underrepresented marginalized racial identities and socioeconomic identities, to engage in science education and their communities in ways that make science accessible and applicable to the community issues they face. The design of this product allows for students to learn about social issues and practice critical thinking that is tied to inquiry-based learning and social action through three educational modules: Medicine in Society, Nutrition, and Environmental Science. The program utilizes Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billing’s culturally relevant pedagogy and Christopher Edmin’s reality pedagogy to make science a topic that is engaging and relevant to student interests. Accompanying the framework is a Facilitator Guide that explains the importance of design and facilitation factors that open the classroom to be a space for social-justice education and social identity development. Through the understanding of the intersection of multiple social identities as well as current social issues, both educators and students can be equipped to re-design the world to be built for equity and STEM can be a field where social justice can be explored.

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