Supporting the development of a socially just STEM-literate society: Teachers perceptions of practice.

David Wooff, Michela Insenga, Sarah Wright, Dawne Bell

Research output: Contribution to conferenceLecture

Abstract

Globally the supply of highly qualified STEM personnel is perceived as being vital in securing a countries' economic prosperity (Li 2014, Marginson et al 2013), but research suggests there are insufficient numbers studying STEM disciplines to meet demand (Stevenson 2014, Heitin 2014) fuelling concerns of an international STEM labour shortage (Mitchell 2015, Ritz and Fan 2014; Kennedy and Odell 2014). Women in particular remain an untapped resource for science and innovation (OECD, 2006:18), and set within the United Kingdom (UK), situated within the wider social and economic context against a background of policy reform and educational change, this paper builds upon previous research (Bell et al, 2015). This phase seeks specifically to understand how to best STEM subjects should be taught within compulsory education, in order to motivate all students irrespective of their gender or socio-economic background to undertaken STEM study beyond compulsory schooling, and ultimately embark upon a STEM career. Utilising the perceptions of participants currently working in industrially based STEM careers preliminary research sought to provide a basis for educators to help understanding of how to best STEM subjects in school should be taught. In this second phase, work sought to explore unconscious classroom bias, with the specific intention of exploring perceptions around social justice, inclusion and gender. Work set out to uncover participants beliefs in relation to equality of access to a high quality STEM experience, and then to explore the range in variation of classroom pedagogy. Constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz 2006), underpinned by an interpretivist ontology is the approach adopted for this study, and empirically grounded data is used to elicit stakeholder viewpoints. Emergent findings are discussed in relation to STEM education, current curriculum and its potential to help ensure the emergence of a socially just STEM-literate society. Outcomes from this study suggest that participants believe that in order to actively support the development of socially just STEM literate society, from which an increased number of STEM graduates may emerge, access for all to engage with stimulating STEM activity is essential in order to foster an appetite for future study within children.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2016
EventBritish Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference - University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sep 201615 Sep 2016

Conference

ConferenceBritish Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period13/09/1615/09/16

Fingerprint

teacher
career
economics
compulsory education
classroom
gender
reform policy
fan
prosperity
educational policy
grounded theory
OECD
ontology
social justice
shortage
equality
personnel
inclusion
stakeholder
graduate

Keywords

  • STEM education
  • social justice
  • gender
  • inclusion
  • grounded theory.

Cite this

Wooff, D., Insenga, M., Wright, S., & Bell, D. (2016). Supporting the development of a socially just STEM-literate society: Teachers perceptions of practice.. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference, United Kingdom.
Wooff, David ; Insenga, Michela ; Wright, Sarah ; Bell, Dawne. / Supporting the development of a socially just STEM-literate society: Teachers perceptions of practice. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference, United Kingdom.
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Wooff, D, Insenga, M, Wright, S & Bell, D 2016, 'Supporting the development of a socially just STEM-literate society: Teachers perceptions of practice.' British Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference, United Kingdom, 13/09/16 - 15/09/16, .

Supporting the development of a socially just STEM-literate society: Teachers perceptions of practice. / Wooff, David; Insenga, Michela; Wright, Sarah; Bell, Dawne.

2016. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceLecture

TY - CONF

T1 - Supporting the development of a socially just STEM-literate society: Teachers perceptions of practice.

AU - Wooff, David

AU - Insenga, Michela

AU - Wright, Sarah

AU - Bell, Dawne

PY - 2016/9/13

Y1 - 2016/9/13

N2 - Globally the supply of highly qualified STEM personnel is perceived as being vital in securing a countries' economic prosperity (Li 2014, Marginson et al 2013), but research suggests there are insufficient numbers studying STEM disciplines to meet demand (Stevenson 2014, Heitin 2014) fuelling concerns of an international STEM labour shortage (Mitchell 2015, Ritz and Fan 2014; Kennedy and Odell 2014). Women in particular remain an untapped resource for science and innovation (OECD, 2006:18), and set within the United Kingdom (UK), situated within the wider social and economic context against a background of policy reform and educational change, this paper builds upon previous research (Bell et al, 2015). This phase seeks specifically to understand how to best STEM subjects should be taught within compulsory education, in order to motivate all students irrespective of their gender or socio-economic background to undertaken STEM study beyond compulsory schooling, and ultimately embark upon a STEM career. Utilising the perceptions of participants currently working in industrially based STEM careers preliminary research sought to provide a basis for educators to help understanding of how to best STEM subjects in school should be taught. In this second phase, work sought to explore unconscious classroom bias, with the specific intention of exploring perceptions around social justice, inclusion and gender. Work set out to uncover participants beliefs in relation to equality of access to a high quality STEM experience, and then to explore the range in variation of classroom pedagogy. Constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz 2006), underpinned by an interpretivist ontology is the approach adopted for this study, and empirically grounded data is used to elicit stakeholder viewpoints. Emergent findings are discussed in relation to STEM education, current curriculum and its potential to help ensure the emergence of a socially just STEM-literate society. Outcomes from this study suggest that participants believe that in order to actively support the development of socially just STEM literate society, from which an increased number of STEM graduates may emerge, access for all to engage with stimulating STEM activity is essential in order to foster an appetite for future study within children.

AB - Globally the supply of highly qualified STEM personnel is perceived as being vital in securing a countries' economic prosperity (Li 2014, Marginson et al 2013), but research suggests there are insufficient numbers studying STEM disciplines to meet demand (Stevenson 2014, Heitin 2014) fuelling concerns of an international STEM labour shortage (Mitchell 2015, Ritz and Fan 2014; Kennedy and Odell 2014). Women in particular remain an untapped resource for science and innovation (OECD, 2006:18), and set within the United Kingdom (UK), situated within the wider social and economic context against a background of policy reform and educational change, this paper builds upon previous research (Bell et al, 2015). This phase seeks specifically to understand how to best STEM subjects should be taught within compulsory education, in order to motivate all students irrespective of their gender or socio-economic background to undertaken STEM study beyond compulsory schooling, and ultimately embark upon a STEM career. Utilising the perceptions of participants currently working in industrially based STEM careers preliminary research sought to provide a basis for educators to help understanding of how to best STEM subjects in school should be taught. In this second phase, work sought to explore unconscious classroom bias, with the specific intention of exploring perceptions around social justice, inclusion and gender. Work set out to uncover participants beliefs in relation to equality of access to a high quality STEM experience, and then to explore the range in variation of classroom pedagogy. Constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz 2006), underpinned by an interpretivist ontology is the approach adopted for this study, and empirically grounded data is used to elicit stakeholder viewpoints. Emergent findings are discussed in relation to STEM education, current curriculum and its potential to help ensure the emergence of a socially just STEM-literate society. Outcomes from this study suggest that participants believe that in order to actively support the development of socially just STEM literate society, from which an increased number of STEM graduates may emerge, access for all to engage with stimulating STEM activity is essential in order to foster an appetite for future study within children.

KW - STEM education

KW - social justice

KW - gender

KW - inclusion

KW - grounded theory.

M3 - Lecture

ER -

Wooff D, Insenga M, Wright S, Bell D. Supporting the development of a socially just STEM-literate society: Teachers perceptions of practice.. 2016. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Conference, United Kingdom.