STEPWISE

A framework, with open-access pedagogical resources, for developing lessons & student activities

STEPWISE pedagogy enables educated & researched altruistic social & environmental actions like this one:

Welcome!

Because humanity is facing numerous existential & persistent harms – like those from climate disruption – in relationships among fields of science & technology and societies & environments (STSE) that governments often struggle to overcome, the research-based STEPWISE pedagogical framework below (hovering over items in the graphic reveals details) was developed to help teachers create/organize lessons & student activities to educate students so that they can, eventually, develop & implement “Student-led RiNA (research-informed & negotiated action) Projects” (like those here) to overcome harms of their concern.

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.

STEPWISE-informed Teacher Resources

Graduate students and I worked with science teachers to produce many STEPWISE-informed pedagogical resources, including the overall ones linked at right (below on phones).

Video-based Resources
PDF Files

Also check out our posts on social media:

Collaborative Action Research

Teachers and others wanting to use the STEPWISE framework and related resources and collaborate with one or more members of our educational research team (e.g., graduate students &/or me) in collaborative action research to learn more about and improve the framework – and, possibly, publish results of this research – should contact me at: larry.bencze@utoronto.ca. Also, please share our site with other teachers and others – perhaps using this flyer.