STEM Ed Innovators Fellowship Program
The STEM Ed Innovators Fellowship has been conducted in a yearlong face-to-face setting for the last ten years in New York and three years in Boston. From 2020, the program is going nationwide as a shorter (4-month) program that uses blended learning (a mix of two-hour face-to-face and virtual sessions), while retaining the key attributes of quality, peer-learning, and mentoring by Master Fellows, who are former Fellows and STEM teachers themselves.
The key benefits of the program are increased confidence in and enjoyment of the classroom experience by both STEM teachers and students as well as better student engagement in STEM subjects. Additional benefits demonstrated by the program are reduction in student dropout and teacher attrition.
The Program is a four-month/seven-workshop blended learning experience, designed to engage and support middle and high-school science teachers who work in under-served schools. Through bi-weekly face-to-face and virtual workshops, dialogue with peers and mentors, and a critical examination of their practice, Fellows learn to transform their students’ experience by applying and further developing the Democratic STEM Teaching Framework. The Fellowship experience challenges participants to examine their teaching practices through the lens of the framework. For any given learning experience, STEM Ed Innovators ask the following questions:
Where in this learning experience is there room for student choice?
Where in this learning experience can I enhance my students' voice and learn more about their ideas?
How am I helping my students to build on their pre-existing funds of knowledge?
In what ways can I personalize this learning experience for my students?
How and when are my students investigating science in an authentic way, becoming subject matter experts who leverage their knowledge for small- and large-scale change?
At the end of the program, Fellows publish a 5-7 minute digital story called Windows-into-Classrooms (or WiCs), that demonstrates a new democratic science teaching practice. The WiCs are critiqued in the final session of the program by peers and other invitees, revised, and placed in the STEM Ed WiC library.