Outreach

Introduction

Welcome! The main goal of the original STEPWISE theoretical framework is to encourage & enable learners to altruistically ‘spend’ some of their cultural (and social etc.) ‘capital’ – e.g., as STSE Education, Skills Education, etc.) – on helping communities to overcome STSE Harms that concern/interest them. In that spirit and given that the STEPWISE framework has been used since its inception in 2006 to develop many new perspectives for learning goals, teaching & learning approaches and related educational resources, we offer many different seminars and workshops for educators, school & district administrators, government officials, parents, etc. to share our learning and resources. This page describes some topics of possible seminars & workshops, with some examples; but, you also are encouraged to suggest one or more related topics and write to me at larry.bencze@utoronto.ca about possibilities.

Possible Outreach Topics

Since Sept. 1977, I have worked in various contexts in science education – including as an elementary & secondary school science teacher, school district curriculum consultant and university-based science education professor. So, I can conduct seminars or workshops on a range of topics. Having said that, because of my analyses of adverse effects of capitalism on science & technology education (and much else), I mainly offer outreach relating to the STEPWISE pedagogical framework shown at right (below on phones). [hovering over text in the graphics provides more information] Broadly, so that students may, eventually, self-direct open-ended RiNA projects (see EGs) to overcome STSE Harms of their concern, the constructivist 3-phase pedagogical schema on the left can provide them with needed expertise, confidence & motivation for such projects. Some related topics are linked below.

STEPWISE Pedagogical Framework

STEPWISE-Pedagogy-StdntsRiNA

Students are given 'stimuli,' such as pictures of common commodities (e.g., cell phones), and asked to reflect on and express their current attitudes, skills &/or knowledge (ASK) related to them. They can be asked, for instance, what they like & dislike about them, what other people or groups would support or oppose them and what might be done to overcome any harms associated with them.

Students are given an assignment that asks them to design and carry out a small-scale RiNA project to overcome an STSE harm of their choice. Teachers may help students in apparent need, but such practice projects should not be overly-led by the teacher and the teacher should allow conclusions to be open-ended; that is, not planned, depending on available data and students' abilities, knowledge, etc. - as judged by the teacher.

The teacher uses direct instructional methods (e.g., lectures, with multimedia aids) to ensure all students can learn about very important, but often hard-to-discover, attitudes, skills & knowledge (ASK) - such as roles of powerful people & groups (e.g., corporations) in influencing science & technology, and related personal, social & environmental harms. They teacher also teaches about sample civic actions (including by other students) to overcome such harms. To deepen students' understanding, though, the teacher then asks students to complete activities that allows students to apply ASK just taught.

After the teacher feels that students have sufficient expertise, confidence & motivation, such as from the 3-phase STEPWISE pedagogy, students - often in small groups - can be asked to complete student-directed & open-ended RiNA project to overcome an STSE harm of their choice. Teachers should limit their involvement in such projects to providing resources as requested by students and ensuring activities are safe for everyone involved.

Sample Outreach

Academic Seminars

Graduate Education Class, University of Ottawa

International Science Education Symposium, Jaén, Spain

Teacher Workshops

Since 2006, when the STEPWISE framework was developed, graduate students, teachers and I have conducted numerous workshops for teachers – mostly at the secondary school level. We do not have video recordings of any of these, but the video at right may give you an idea about composition of the team that could conduct further such workshops. If you would like to arrange for a STEPWISE-based workshop dealing with topics like those above or those you suggest, write to me at larry.bencze@utoronto.ca.