Seminars-Workshops

Welcome!

To help communicate findings from my action research and to share related pedagogical resources, I can (sometimes with graduate students and/or teachers) conduct seminars and/or workshops (‘outreach’) related to science and technology education – mostly focusing on uses of STEPWISE pedagogy for preparing students to independently and creatively develop and implement RiNA projects to help overcome STSE harms of their concern.

To arrange (covering only long-distance travel expenses) such outreach, write to me at larry.bencze@utoronto.ca.

Possible Seminar/Workshop Topics
[Clicking on links below provides information about possible seminar/workshop topics]

STEPWISE-Pedagogy_OutreachTopics

Based on constructivist learning theory, the STEPWISE pedagogy suggests teachers often start lessons by providing students with stimuli (e.g., pictures of commodities) to get students to reflect on their past experiences and learning and express (e.g., verbally or in writing) their existing attitudes, skills and knowledge ('ASK') relating to the topic (e.g., plant structure & function) of the current unit of study. To ensure students express their ASK, rather than what they believe the teacher wants them to express, such activities should be most student-directed and very open-ended (see: Lock model).

Although it is important to get students, in the Students Reflect phase of the STEPWISE pedagogy, to express their current attitudes, skills & knowledge (ASK) relating to unit topics, it also is necessary to help many or most students to learn ASK that they might find difficult to discover, such as through inquiry-based learning activities. So, in the Teacher Teaches phase, teachers should directly teach students, with related application activities, ASK about STSE relationships, STSE Harms, and sample RiNA projects that students and others have conducted to overcome harms of their concern. Of particular importance in such STSE education should be teaching about actor-network theory and the dispositif concept. Such teaching also should, of course, cover teaching of relevant 'products' (e.g., laws, theories & innovations) of science & technology.

After teachers use application-based learning in the Teacher Teaches phase of the STEPWISE pedagogy to introduce students to important, hard-to-discover, ASK (e.g., STSE Education & RiNA Projects), most students are still likely to need practice in designing and implementing such projects. So, in the Students Practise phase, the teacher should ask students to choose and STSE harm (or issue), design and conduct secondary and primary research to learn more about the harm/issue and then use their research (and prior education) to design and conduct sociopolitical actions to try to overcome the harm. Although these practice projects should be mostly student-directed & open-ended (Lock model), some or many students often benefit from some teacher supports - such as: STSE Issue Lists; Skills Education; and kinds of STSE Action, including development of ecojust commodities.

An important framework for planning and analyzing lessons and activities is Lock's (1990) control-of-learning model. The horizontal axis, it indicates that lessons/activities can range from fully teacher-directed through to fully student-directed. On the vertical axis, conclusions of lessons/activities can range from very closed-ended (pre-determined conclusions) through to very open-ended (multiple allowable conclusions, based on - for example - available data and students' current understanding). In STEPWISE, we suggest that different kinds of lessons/activities based on this model, some being very TD/CE, others sharing TD & SD, but still OE and some very SD/OE activities (e.g., RiNA Projects).

After one or more 3-phase pedagogical cycles as shown at left, the teacher can decide that most, if not all, students are ready to design & conduct student-led RiNA projects to overcome STSE Harms of their concern. As with much in education, students' independent abilities (and motivation) for such projects may vary across the class and, so, some students may still benefit from relatively minor resources like: STSE Issues Lists; and, Sample Student RiNA Projects. Nevertheless, the teacher should try to make such projects as SD/OE as possible. Meanwhile, at least one type of motivation is to tell students in advance of their projects, that they will be asked to give a public presentation about them at, for example, an STSE-Action Fair.

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.

Seminar/Workshop Expenses: In providing seminars and/or workshops, I do not need to be paid. Such work is part of my responsibilities as a professor at a publicly-funded institution. However, it is necessary to have ‘long-distance’ travel and accommodation (not meals) covered by the inviting organization.