- use tags to connect to other pages on the same topic
- Write outline/overview of topic
- link to relevant standards
- Week 4
- For this group of students, is there a choice that needs to be made about what aspects of identity and physics culture need to be addressed? Moses' curriculum focuses on white vs. black, and he argues that he thinks it is important to anchor the conversation with just one axis of difference. Lewis' curriculum focuses on several different dimensions of identity and the relationship between personal identity, identity as a scientist, and career success and issues as a scientist
- Start with race? Or start with gender identity? The idea would be to kick off the year with a dimension of identity that makes them uncomfortable, so they can wrestle with issues, but that makes the connection between challenges that are due to culture and challenges that are personal/intellectual. Then we will return every couple of weeks, adding more dimensions, more layers, more data, and more nuance to the discussion
- What assignments will be required?
- Nightly reading
- Nightly journaling
- Anonymous surveys
- Data analysis/visualization
- What outside of class time will be required?
- Reading and journaling
- How will I assess student learning?
- Reflective essays on prompts
- Can they explain stereotype threat? Can they explain what the numbers are right now? Can they ...?
- How will I assess project success?
- Reflective essays and anonymous surveys
How do I transition from this project into "traditional physics", and how do I maintain the conversation this unit will start throughout the year?
- How much do I need to tell Pete/Mindy/Conner about what I'm doing? How much can I?
- Have sit downs with administrative team before May 31st, showing this site and discussing plans. Let them know I plan to do it, why I think it is critical.
- There are complicated relationships between different dimensions of personal identity, identity as a scientist, success in physics as a class, and career choice and trajectory
- The "intellectual" difficulties faced by an individual are different from (though sometimes related to / informed by) the cultural difficulties faced by members of groups that have historically been underrepresented in the sciences/physics
- Exploring these cultural differences/difficulties through data and personal reflection/discussion, as well as understanding sources of individual/intellectual difficulty can aid in the formation of a positive self-identity as a scientist/physicst
- Explicit discussion of the issues faced by different groups can be a starting point for long-term change in the field
Ground Rules for Discussion
- Speak from experience and remember that people have different experiences.
- Listen to learn, not to speak
- Discomfort is cool.
- Know yourself, balance your listening and talking.
- You always have the right to pass, i.e. continue listening
- Anonymity: you can take concepts out of this room, but not names
- You don’t have to be interested, but you do have to be respectful
- You don't have to agree, but you do have to be respectful
- Assume good intentions. Act with good intentions
- Impact and intention are not the same. If you accidentally hurt someone else's feelings, please own your impact and learn from the experience
Ideas/inspiration for what we should do
- Science Characters Intro
- Survey: Name a scientist. Discover breakdown of identities within those named. Is there a pattern? Bias? Why?
- Show our results and results from 6th grade. Is it surprising that this is a trend even for 6th graders?
- Summary of data in the field. Discussion of hypothetical explanations
- Long attitudes survey. Establish pseudonym for this and future surveys.
- Reading assignment on ...
Implicit Association Test
Explore representation data. (from Moses)
Better know a scientist project
Daily journaling. Bring journals into class discussion, but allow space to contribute/not-contribute from them
Lots of group mixing and group (without teacher) discussion
Each day should be tied explicitly to the previous day through initial questions
- Critical humility requires a genuine curiousity about where people are
- Accentuate the positive wherever possible and avoid portraying physics as an essentially hard subject.
- Take positive steps to reduce the impact of stereotyping. All staff, not just physics teachers, need to be well informed about the issues. In particular, teachers must avoid reinforcing stereotypes, endeavouring not to use mostly stereotypically white/male/cis/hetero examples when talking about occupations or interests.
- Make sure that physics is viewed as a valuable subject in its own right, not just regarded as a qualification for careers in science and engineering.
- Encourage collaborative approaches to the teaching and learning of physics and avoid domination by individuals
- Invite staff to be proactive in discussing study options. They should not just give information; they should give an insight into what studying physics will be like. Involve higher level students and encourage them to give an honest appraisal of their experience.
- Distinguish between social seating groups and working groups
- Try different groupings for lab work and discussion
- Ensure that everyone plays an active role in activities (not just note-taking)
- Group students for learning needs and not for classroom control
- Decrease the use of closed, rapid-response questions
- Encourage the view that there is not always a unique answer
- Help develop the confidence to take risks when answering questions
- Use whiteboards individually as well as in groups
- Use demonstrably random calling, priming, and spokesperson approaches for questions to lower the stakes and encourage discussion
- Don't use non-essential technical language as a shorthand for the physical principles (especially early in the learning)
- Use pupils' everyday language as far as possible
- Ensure that essential terminology is clearly defined and used in context and check for understanding
- Make sure illustrations draw on the experience and interest of all students (A shower curtain that seems to cling to the shower is probably a common experience. Bending the path of a soccer ball is not)
- Don't be afraid of analogies. Some mental picture is better than none
- Don't make excessive use of mechanistic illustrations that might be outside the experience of some students
- Talk about the big picture. A lot
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