Socially Transformative STEM Curriculum: What It Is and Why African American Students Need It
Associate Professor of Science Education, Indiana University
David Pratt points out that the primary goal of a socially transformative curricular approach is “liberation – developing in students maximum capacity for choice.” This presentation begins with an examination of the modern context in which the curriculum of African people is enacted. From there, I argue that a socially transformative STEM curriculum is ideally suited for meeting the needs of children of African descent. This argument includes both descriptions and examples of socially transformative STEM curriculum. The presentation concludes with suggestions for research, as well as directions for K-12 and post-secondary practice.
About the Speaker:
Jomo W. Mutegi is Associate Professor of science education in the School of Education at Indiana University, IUPUI. His research agenda, which addresses the science teaching and learning of people of African descent, consists of three lines of scholarship. In the first, he explores students’ science knowledge with specific attention to understanding how racialized experiences help to shape that science knowledge. In the second line of scholarship, he explores racism in student-teacher interactions to determine the degree to which race bias inhibits the science participation of people of African descent. The third and most central line of scholarship, he frames as educational praxis. Herein he works to use science education as a tool for improving African and African American communities. One current project in this line of work is the development of curriculum products aimed at positioning students of African descent to adopt understandings of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that positions them to be change agents in their communities.
Dr. Mutegi currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST). He serves as co-director for the STEM Educational Research Institute at IUPUI. In addition to NARST, he is also an active member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Institute for the Study of the African American Child (iSAAC). His was recently recognized for his commitment to diversity by receiving the 2016 Chancellor’s Diversity Scholar Award. Jomo is married to his wife, Demetrice and has two sons: Marcelius, 19 years old, and Imari, 9 months old.
Light refreshments available at 11:45 a.m. This presentation is followed by a one-hour discussion with graduate students and post-docs in 115 Erickson at 1:15 p.m.