The University of Washington College of Education's Philip Bell, Shauna C. Larson Chair in Learning Sciences, and Deb Morrison, research scientist, are guest editors for the May 2020 edition of the National Science Teaching Association’s Next Gen Navigator, focusing on social justice-centered science teaching and learning.

“All students have a right and a responsibility to learn how science has been implicated in creating many social inequities over time and how diverse scientific knowledges and practices can promote justice,” write Bell and Morrison in their introduction to the issue. “Teachers can foster … cultural bridging through engaging in culturally-based pedagogies that identify and leverage students' and communities' knowledge and practice resources and help students recognize their agency to engage in social justice projects in ways informed by the sciences.”

The issue, distributed to 40,000 science teachers around the world, features two articles by University of Washington College of Education students and alumni.

In the first, “Justice-Centered Science Pedagogy: Leaning Beyond the Boundaries of Equity and Culturally Responsive Practices,” Anastasia Sanchez, a PhD student in learning sciences and human development and Seattle Public Schools science curriculum specialist, and 7th grade science teacher Jordyn Frost (MIT '16) write about their work in SPS to foster justice-centered science pedagogy for the latest edition of NSTA's Next Gen Navigator.

"Our collective social climate and goals of advancing science and science pedagogy, as well as responsibly serving youth, means we must push beyond culturally responsive add-on methods and three-dimensional science instruction boundaries. This is possible if we embrace restorative, dignity-conferring justice-centered science pedagogy," write Sanchez and Frost.

In the second, “Creating Science Learning Environments in Which Indigenous Students Can Thrive,” Alice Tsoodle (MEd '16) discusses the development of ISTEAM (Indigenous science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) — learning environments that support Indigenous students' intellectual, emotional and communal thriving.

"[W]e have engaged young people in what many might call field-based science education, investigations and learning in outdoor places," write Tsoodle and her co-authors Megan Bang, a former UW College of Education faculty member, and Nikki McDaid-Morgan, former PhD student in learning sciences and human development. "We have employed Indigenous stories not as fables, but as theories and frameworks for knowing. We have engaged young people in investigations in which they wonder, ask questions, and investigate their lands’ socio-ecological histories, and explain how and why ecosystems have changed over time and how they might change again."

The issue also features a new STEM Teaching Tool on "Focusing Science and Engineering Learning on Justice-Centered Phenomena across PK-12." STEM Teaching Tools are developed through the UW Institute for Science + Math Education.


Dustin Wunderlich, Director of Marketing and Communications