Inspiring minds research-engaged STEAM outreach: Affecting attitudinal and attainment change through interdisciplinary outreach
Lawson, F. and Colley, S. 2022. Inspiring minds research-engaged STEAM outreach: Affecting attitudinal and attainment change through interdisciplinary outreach.
|Authors||Lawson, F. and Colley, S.|
There is agreement within the UK and internationally that our economy and workforce will be increasingly dependent on STEM-related opportunities and skills. However, there is a lack of agreement on the best ways to improve diversity and recruitment into these fields. It would be naive to think that any one solution would work for all students (or indeed for all sectors) however this alone is no reason to maintain the status quo and hope that the situation will be resolved.
Secondly students from underrepresented backgrounds frequently have little or no science capital. These barriers combined mean that students from “economically disadvantaged backgrounds” are said to have poorer science attainment than their more advantaged peers, with the divide appearing as early as Key Stage 1 (age 5-7 years) (ASE 2018), and continuing through to GCSE choices where they are three times less likely to take triple science at GCSE level (Archer et al. 2016, 302) therefore influencing the opportunities open to them in STEM at post-16 and in HE.
This paper examines how an epistemic insight pedagogy has been used to underpin a sustained engagement programme of informal science learning (ISL) – Inspiring Minds. Inspiring Minds has been running since 2017 and was developed with the aim of engaging students who have become disengaged with the content-heavy formal science curriculum by engaging them with STEM through Big Questions related to the interaction of STEM and society and developing their epistemic agency by undertaking interdisciplinary STEAM research projects that challenged their perception of the role and relevance of STEM for society. Further the paper reports on the impact that the programme has had in producing statistically significant shifts in aspiration and attitudes towards STEM and for cohort one, where public examination data is available, leading to significant shifts in academic achievement in relation to a matched comparator group. We conclude by looking forwards to the next steps for research engaged practice in STEM outreach and Widening Participation work.
|Keywords||Epistemic Insight; Widening articipation; Informal science learning; STEM Education|
|Conference||Epistemic Insight Conference 2022: Transforming interdisciplinary learning through epistemically insightful curricula|
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File Access Level
Allchin, Douglas. 2013. ‘Problem- and Case-Based Learning in Science: An Introduction to Distinctions, Values, and Outcomes’. CBE—Life Sciences Education 12 (3): 364–72. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.12-11-0190.
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||18 Jul 2022|
|EI Conf Jun 22 - IM presentation - Repo. Copy.pptx|
|License: All rights reserved|
|File access level: Open|
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