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STEM21

Equity in Teaching and Learning to Meet Global Challenges of Standards, Engagement and Transformation

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Edited By Joy Barnes-Johnson and Janelle M. Johnson

STEM21: Equity in Teaching and Learning to Meet Global Challenges of Standards, Engagement and Transformation is designed to contribute to discourses about how STEM teaching and learning can become more equitable, serving the needs of readers across the STEM educational spectrum. STEM21 is meant to problematize the status quo educational practices of STEM stakeholders including preservice and inservice teachers, district leaders, informal educators, policy makers, and the research community. While many books are narrowly targeted either for academics or practitioners, the outcome is limited dialogue between and across those spaces. This volume weaves together field-based research, personal narrative, and education theory, while providing for reflection and discussion. STEM21: Equity in Teaching and Learning to Meet Global Challenges of Standards, Engagement and Transformation is undergirded by the principle that engaged STEM education accommodates theory and practice that is equitable, rejects deficit model thinking, and is community relevant. Equitable STEM pedagogy builds autonomous pathways to learning; creates a culture of questioning and transparency; celebrates diversity of thought, habit and culture; and embraces a social justice stance on issues of race, class, gender, environmental responsibility, health, and access to resources.

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Chapter Four: New Roles and Relationships in Urban STEM Learning Environments: How the Peer-Enabled Restructured Classroom Enhances Equity and Access (Leslie S. Keiler / Kathleen Robbins)

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CHAPTER FOUR

New Roles and Relationships in Urban STEM Learning Environments

How the Peer-Enabled Restructured Classroom Enhances Equity and Access

LESLIE S. KEILER1 AND KATHLEEN ROBBINS2

This research was supported by NSF grant #DUE-1102729



Abstract

The Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom (PERC) model radically alters interactions among students and between teachers and students in urban STEM classes. The PERC model places average-performing students as peer instructors called Teaching Assistant Scholars (TAS) leading collaborative learning teams, leveraging the power of peer-to-peer motivation, and scaffolding ← 95 | 96 → to create student-centered learning environments. The main objectives of the PERC model are to close gaps in student outcomes of STEM performance, high school graduation rates, and college readiness. High stakes test results show consistently higher outcomes in PERC classes compared to traditional classes in urban high needs schools. In PERC, the teacher begins class by providing a conceptual context, then at least two thirds of each class each day is spent in small group work led by TAS. In a well-implemented PERC class, students stay on task and discuss STEM concepts, guided by TAS. They follow instructions provided by TAS, ask TAS questions when they are confused about content or task requirements, answer scaffolding questions posed by TAS, and have TAS check the quality of their work before moving on to a new task. Teachers act as managers of their instructional team and assessors of understanding. These altered...

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