Research & Outreach

STEPWISE Collaborative Action Research and Outreach
This page provides brief overviews of collaborative action research that is used to learn more about STEPWISE and ‘outreach‘ (seminars & workshops) to share our findings and pedagogical resources.

STEPWISE Action Research

To continuously improve teaching approaches like STEPWISE, researchers often use collaborative action research (CAR); e.g., with cooperation among several, often diverse, ‘stakeholders.’ In doing so, we typically focus on possible ’cause –> result’ relationships like those here and here. For example, in the video at right/below, a teacher describes his ongoing reflective practice for teaching about actor-network theory, a key concept used in STEPWISE. Broadly, AR can “improve the rationality and justice of their own practices, their understanding of these practices, and the situations in which the practices are carried out” (Carr & Kemmis, 1986, p. 162). Some general results of our action research – including for teacher & student outcomes and for our research purposes – are summarized below and here.

CAR in Teaching About Actor-Network Theory

CAR has helped us to learn more about effectiveness of the STEPWISE pedagogical framework in several contexts – and appears to have benefited many students and teachers. With reference to the schema at right/below (and elaborations here & here), for example, we have explored students’ approaches to representing (and suggesting changes in the world) and their efforts at bringing about significant changes in the world – through, for example, design & development of more ecojust engineering products & services. In doing this work, we have worked with teachers and others to generate numerous teaching & learning resources – and we have published many scholarly and practical reports about our findings.

Working With Us in Action Research and Publication

Although we have been field-testing lessons & activities based on STEPWISE since 2006, there is much we can still learn about it. If you are interested in joining our research team (e.g., as below) and/or helping us field-test lessons/activities for education of students in your course(s), please contact me at: larry.bencze@utoronto.ca.

Research may focus on different variable pairs chosen from lists like below.

STEPWISE Outreach

Although based on much educational theory, many aspects of STEPWISE – e.g., student expressions of pre-instructional conceptions; direct teaching of STSE harms; actor-network theory; dispositifs; Phenomena <–> Representation Relationships; Regulatory Capture; Prosumption; Sociotechnical Imaginaries; Data vs. Theory Tensions; correlational studies; compromise in engineering design; EcoJust TechDesign; STSE Action Types; Students’ Sample RiNA Projects; and many more – are not common in school science. Educators wanting to consider promoting such education can, though, invite me (and/or graduate students & teachers with whom I work) to conduct seminars &/or workshops.

To arrange such outreach, write to: larry.bencze@utoronto.ca.