Suggestions for Implementing STEPWISE Pedagogy

This page provides suggestions for using the STEPWISE pedagogy and links to pages providing much more detailed suggestions for teaching & learning regarding each of its major learning goals; i.e., STSE Educ8n; Skills Educ8n; Products Educ8n. The schema here suggests that teachers should gradually increase complexity of teaching & learning goals, perhaps involving at least two repetitions of the 3-phase STEPWISE pedagogy, before asking students to independently design & conduct RiNA projects to help overcome harms they perceive in STSE relationships.


To provide students with a broad education in science & technology (or ‘STEM’) and, especially, encourage and enable them to altruistically use their education to independently design and carry out personal and/or sociopolitical actions to help overcome harms of their concern in STSE relationships, teachers can use the STEPWISE pedagogical schema shown at right/below (and elaborated here & here). This approach encourages teachers to provide students with an 3-phase ‘apprenticeship’ before asking them to self-direct RiNA projects – unlike approaches like SSIBL that imagine certain learning during inquiries.

Students Reflect


As elaborated in the video at right/below, here and here, based on constructivist learning theory, we recommend that teachers facilitate students’ expressions (e.g., verbally or in writing, etc.) of their reflections on their current (and ongoing) attitudes, skills & knowledge (ASK) that may apply to topics (e.g., plant biology) that the teacher plans to teach. Once students become more conscious of their existing ASK, they may be better prepared to change them – as they see fit – when exposed to alternative ASK (e.g., in Teacher Teaches phase of the 3-phase STEPWISE pedagogy). Reflections also may occur after each Students Practise phase. Teachers, meanwhile, can influence needs for further teaching on students’ reflections.

Stimulating Student Reflections/Expressions

The teacher can encourage students to reflect on and express their existing ASK by providing them with stimuli, such as pictures of STEM products, as at right/below, and then asking them to describe and evaluate them. To help ensure students feel free to express their ASK (and not try to guess what the teacher thinks is correct), teacher instructions & questions should be mostly student-directed & open-ended (see Lock (1990) model). Teacher instructions and questions should, in other words, err on the side of divergence – allowing for many different responses. Questions asked might include: ‘What do you like/dislike about the commodity, and why?,’ ‘What other people & groups might like/dislike the commodity, and why?,’ and, ‘For harms related to the commodity, what should be done to overcome them and explain what work might be necessary to do so?’ If done effectively, such questioning can promote divergent thinking. Such diversity can be encouraged by, for example, asking students to evaluate different people’s controversial positions relating to STEM processes & products – such as STSE Cartoons or from this list of possible STSE actions.

Teacher Teaches


As elaborated in the video at right/below (and here), although teachers should honour attitudes, skills & knowledge (ASK) expressed by students in the Students Reflect phase of the 3-phase STEPWISE pedagogy, many students – due, for instance, to limitations of inquiry-based learning (also see here) related to their cultural & social capital, sanitized STEM curricula and public propaganda (e.g., Merchants of Doubt) – can benefit from direct instruction of certain ASK (e.g., in 3 learning domains). We particularly recommend direct Teacher Input (with relevant Student Application activities) of STSE harms linked to influences of pro-capitalist networks and related RiNA projects.

Teacher Teaches: Detailed Suggestions & Resources

Teacher Teaches: STSE-RiNA Education Review

Summary Lessons & Activities

After lessons & activities like those discussed above, teachers may choose to provide ‘summary’ lessons & activities to further deepen students’ attitudes, skills & knowledge about STSE relationships & RiNA projects. The two videos at right/below provide some suggestions for such summary lessons and application activities.

Resources: Slideshow for this Video; JASTE: 5.1; 9.1; 11.1.

Students Practise


As presented in the video at right/below (and here), to deepen students’ attitudes, skills & knowledge (ASK) regarding ASK taught by teachers during the Teacher Teaches phase of the 3-phase STEPWISE pedagogy, we suggest teachers encourage students to design and carry out small-scale RiNA projects to overcome harms of their concern/interest in STSE relationships. For such practice projects, the teacher may provide assistance – as requested by students, and as described, with examples, below.

Student Practise: Project Assignment & Supports

Supports students need tend to vary – depending on, for example, their ages, abilities & experiences with RiNA projects. Firstly, teachers may limit guidance to that in assessment schema within assignment sheets like here. Some students may, then, benefit from a list of possible STSE Issues to address. Others may find a list of ’cause’ & ‘result’ variables helpful. In planning projects, some students then may find useful our RiNA project tips sheet. Meanwhile, for secondary research, they may benefit from some insights from a school librarian – as depicted in the video below. For primary research, suggestions on the Skills Education page may help. Related to that, although many may be familiar with experimentation, most likely need to learn about correlational studies. In terms of actions, students may find descriptions of types of actions helpful. As science students, teaching them about engineering design & popularization may be particularly useful. Finally, although we would prefer students be intrinsically motivated to develop/implement RiNA projects, asking them to prepare for a public STSE Fair like here can help extrinsically motivate them.

RiNA Project Tools

To help students to develop – perhaps collaborativelyRiNA projects, either as practice (in this stage) or as student-led projects (in the Student-led RiNA Projects stage, we have provided links to a series of online tools (e.g., for graphing, report-writing, etc.) – via the image at right/below – for carrying out such projects. As suggested here, the tools are generally arranged in order of conduct of RiNA projects, as illustrated below. Students may choose to use these tools in different orders and repeatedly, as required.

RiNA Project Tools
Chatting Tools Drawing Tools STSE Issues Web Search Tools Graphing Tools Survey Tools Spreadsheet Tools Statistics Tool Network Mapping Tools Poster-making Tools Petition Tool Social Media Tools 3-D Printing Tools Word Processing Tools Team Collaboration Tools

Web Search Tools

Statistics Tool

Petition Tool

Credits: Jasmine Yeung, Dave Del Gobbo, Minja Milanovic, Sarah El Halwany, Majd Zouda, Nurul Hassan & Larry Bencze.

Students Re-Reflect

Students’ RiNA Projects Analyses

After students conduct small-scale RiNA projects in the Students Practise phase of the 3-phase STEPWISE apprenticeship, teachers may ask them to reflect on their ASK relating to the unit of study (e.g., cell biology) and about the ‘nature’ of STSE relationships, research and actions. For example, a teacher of science asked his students in grade 10 ‘academic’ (university-qualifying) class to reflect on the nature of STSE & RiNA by completing this reflection sheet, including by sharing their personal reflections with a few classmates. Shortly afterwards, he conducted – as illustrated in the video at right/below – a whole-class discussion on the nature of STSE & RiNA.

Students Applying their Reflections in Future RiNA Projects

There is much educational research support for lessons & activities to help students to reflect on the nature of their thinking & acting; that is, metacognition – in this case, on the nature of their RiNA projects to overcome harms in STSE relationships. Such reflections represent, essentially, reflections on the nature of science (and STSE relationships, including RiNA projects). A common benefit of such metacognition are improvements in learners’ self-control of future cognition and learning. Regarding the schema at right/below, for example, sample student reflection on the nature of STSE Issues, Research & Actions from their experiences with previous RiNA projects (as World <–> Sign relationships) can be applied to design & implementation of their next RiNA projects. For example, students’ finding that experiments may be more time-consuming than studies may lead them to prioritize studies in their next RiNA projects.

STSE-RiNA Education Review

After lessons & activities like those discussed above, teachers may choose to provide ‘summary’ lessons & activities to further deepen students’ attitudes, skills & knowledge about STSE relationships & RiNA projects. The two videos at right/below provide some suggestions for such summary lessons and application activities.

Resources: Slideshow for this Video; JASTE: 5.1; 9.1; 11.1.

Student-led RiNA Projects


After one (or more) STEPWISE pedagogical 3-phase cycles, teachers may decide many students need at least one more such cycle(s) or decide students have sufficient ASK to be asked to design and conduct their own RiNA projects to overcome STSE harms of their interest. We recommend teachers make such projects as student-directed & open-ended as possible – to help increase students’ intellectual independence. Such independence is critical in democracies, although this can vary – depending on specificity of assessment & evaluation (e.g., as here). Also, some teachers may choose to provide some students with a few relatively ‘benign’ supports – such as a list of Sample STSE Issues and Sample RiNA Project eTools.