PER Seminar - 9/23 (Mel Sabella)


Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm


1400 Biomedical and Physical Sciences Building, 567 Wilson Rd, East Lansing

Leveraging student cultural toolkits to create effective STEM learning spaces
Mel Sabella, Professor of Physics, Chicago State University,

Chicago State University (CSU) is involved in curriculum development, teacher preparation projects, and education research projects that target urban physics learners on the south side of Chicago. Because we work with a very local population with many shared experiences, shared culture and community play an important role in our instructional environments. In this presentation we explore how listening to student input and connecting our science education efforts to the culture and community of our population has allowed us, as researchers and instructors that often come from different communities, to develop more effective instruction and aid our students in developing STEM identity. We first characterize some of the cultural resources and community norms of our student population and then describe our efforts to leverage this 'cultural toolkit' toward building a welcoming, community-based learning environment.

This work is funded by the National Science Foundation (DUE# 0833251, 1356523, 0632563) and the APS PhysTEC Program.