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Revolutionary STEM Education

Critical-Reality Pedagogy and Social Justice in STEM for Black Males


Jeremiah J. Sims

Revolutionary STEM Education: Critical-Reality Pedagogy and Social Justice in STEM for Black Males by Jeremiah J. Sims, an educator, researcher, and administrator from Richmond, California, is calling for a revolutionary, paradigm shift in the STEM education of and for Black boys. STEM education has been reliant on axioms and purported facts that for far too long have been delivered in a banking or absorption model that is, arguably, anti-critical. Unsurprisingly, this pedagogical approach to STEM education has failed large segments of students; and, this is especially true of African American males. Revolutionary STEM Education highlights, chronicles, and investigates the potential inroads and vistas of a Saturday Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program, Male Aptitudes Nurtured for Unlimited Potential (MAN UP), which was designed to foster interest and competence in STEM by middle school Black boys. This program was impelled by a critical-reality based pedagogical approach, which was formulated to arrive at socio-academic synergy, that is, a thoughtful conjoining of students’ real life concerns, joys, ways of being, and socio-cultural identities and the curricular material covered in the courses offered at MAN UP.

Sims’ lived-experiences as an inner-city, low-income Black male are interspersed throughout Revolutionary STEM Education; however, the heartbeat of this book is, undoubtedly, the stories of the positive transformation that the MAN UP scholars experienced while becoming more competent in STEM, developing positive STEM identities, and learning to use their STEM knowledge for social justice.

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Chapter 9: The revolution will be digitized


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The revolution will be digitized

In the third stanza of the 1970 poem, by Gil Scott Heron, The Revolution will not be Televised, Heron seems to be challenging the potential and even imminent co-optation of the civil-rights centered, cultural revolution that was taking place at the time of his writing. Clearly, Heron is also urging potential revolutionaries to resist becoming deluded by the endless inculcation that a televisual medium allows for. In simpler terms, the work of catalyzing a revolution in human rights, social justice, and equity necessitates on the ground work, in real life. The revolution will not come to fruition if the workers allow themselves to be seduced and inundated by the hegemonic imagery that mass media promulgates. Contrastively, Branch (1988) argues the obverse of Heron’s point. Branch contends that the televisual medium was instrumental in helping Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., work towards the realization of his American dream: social justice and equality for all. Brach argues that television provided opportunities for people all around the world to see with their own eyes the atrocities that Black people in America were being terrorized by. Branch (1988) argues that Television created a viewpoint wherein the eyes of the world were forced to bear witness to police dogs savagely attacking Black children. These images led to worldwide outrage. This outrage helped to catalyze the civil rights revolution. In this book, I am calling for a paradigm-shifting revolution...

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