Shared and Transformational Authority




The idea that students’ ideas and opinions are an integral part of growth and knowledge acquisition within a classroom.

The idea that student investment and achievement increases as their involvement in how they learn and apply their knowledge increases.

The idea that students are empowered to take action after learning about and reflecting upon contemporary issues that affect their lives.

1. How, when, how often, and why do students express voice?


2. How, when, how often, and why do students express evidence-based opinions that include both formal STEM content knowledge and students' own unique funds of knowledge?


3. How and when do teachers cultivate and leverage students’ ideas and opinions?

1. What choices are available to students? How often do students get to make choices?


2. How is the curriculum situated around students' funds of knowledge and idea about how teaching and learning should happen?


3. When, why and how often do students leverage their funds of knowledge to co-create lessons and co-teach classes?

When, why and how often do students….

1. Investigate STEM and STEM education from a critical lens? (documenting issues of power and injustice)


2. Demonstrate subject-matter expertise? (rigorous content knowledge and nature of STEM issues)


3. Leverage subject matter expertise to reflect and act on relevant and personally meaningful issues (e injustices in their lives)?

The Democratic STEM Teaching Framework

Student Voice, Shared and Transformational Authority, and Critical STEM Literacy comprise our framework for thinking about how STEM classrooms can be more democratic so that all students - especially the historically marginalized - have access to a high-quality STEM education. Designing STEM education with this framework is a critical step towards granting future generations full participation in the world of STEM.      

Our Theory Of Change

The Democratic STEM Teaching Framework is the STEM Ed North Star. We see democratized STEM classrooms as a way of "being the change we want to see in the world" and STEM teachers as powerful agents of this change. Teachers participating in the STEM Ed process develop innovative teacher moves that are already helping to transform the STEM teacher development pipeline, shift public understanding of what STEM education is, and restructure STEM education so that all students have the opportunity to reap its rewards.

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