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Sense of Place in STEMS^2: A Catalyst For Global Citizenship

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Abstract:

Students in STEMS^2 are challenged to solve real-world problems in their communities by drawing on their STEM knowledge in addition to their experiences, culture, and funds of knowledge (Rios-Aguilar, Kiyama, Gravitt, & Moll, 2011). STEMS^2 encourages students to connect to the content, the community, and back to their own lives, resulting in increasing student academic engagement and achievement (O’Neill, Ah Sam, Jumalon, Stuart, Enriquez, in press). For example, when STEMS^2 projects pertain to climate change, students go beyond learning definitions and causes; they strive to bring about change, whether it be through advocating for policy changes in government or designing innovative place-based solutions. This paper presents the critical self-reflection of a STEMS^2 master’s program graduate on the impact of integrating sense of place in the master’s program and beyond.

Place, specifically sense of place is central to STEMS^2, a construct that integrates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with the social sciences and sense of place (S^2). Utilizing place-based education (PBE) pedagogies, STEMS^2 is rooted in the community and teachers and textbooks are not seen as the sole sources of knowledge. This helps the content learned to be more socially and culturally relevant to both the students and the community.

Integrating sense of place goes beyond PBE practices by pushing students to explore their relationships with places and the ways place shapes their identities. Rooted in Gruenewald’s foundation of place (2003), STEMS^2 teaches students that “places teach us who, what and where we are, as well as how we might live our lives (p. 636). Place-based learning journeys cultivate relationships and connections with academic content (science, math, language, social studies, etc.) and with people and places in the community.

These connections instill a sense of civic responsibility and encourage students to take action. Smith and Sobel (2010) described Montana educator Michael Umphrey’s (2007) statement that children will be more committed to caring for the community when it is seen as the source of who they are (p. 95). This is accomplished when they get to know about their community’s members, feel an attachment to its places, and are proud of their roots (Smith & Sobel, p. 95).

In Hawaiʻi, Kanaʻiapuni and Malone (2006) found that “from a sense of place grows a sense of kuleana (responsibility)” (p. 298). This responsibility for the ʻāina (land) is strengthened by Hawaiian culture and tradition that connects them to it through its landscape, spirituality, genealogy, and history (Kanaʻiapuni and Malone, 2006). Kuleana has a strong presence in Hawaiian culture as it relates to place and community, connoting both responsibility and privilege. As Dudoit (1998) explained, ““kuleana” expresses that relationship between privilege and responsibility in a way that you cannot detach one from the other” (p. 1).

This kuleana driven by sense of place provokes students to participate in solving problems facing their local communities to act as responsible local and global citizens and has compelled a STEMS^2 master’s program graduate to consider her own kuleana and shares the impact on her own community involvement.

References
Gruenewald, D. A. (2003). Foundations of place: A multidisciplinary framework for place-conscious education. American Educational Research Journal, 40 (3), 619–654. doi.org/10.3102/00028312040003619

Kanaʻiaupuni, S. M., & Malone, N. (2006). This land is my land: The role of place in native Hawaiian identity. Hūlili, 3(1), 281–307.

O’Neill, T., Ah Sam, A., Jumalon, S., Stuart, K., & Enriquez, M. A. (in press). A‘o Hawai‘i: The role of culture and place in empowering teacher leaders as STEMS^2 educators. Cultural Studies in Science Education.

Rios-Aguilar, C., Kiyama, J. M., Gravitt, M., & Moll, L. C. (2011). Funds of knowledge for the poor and forms of capital for the rich? A capital approach to examining funds of knowledge. Theory and Research in Education, 9(2), 163–184. doi.org/10.1177/1477878511409776

Smith, G. A., & Sobel, D. (2010). Place- and community-based education in schools. New York, NY: Routledge.
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1293774_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Yu, Waynele. "Sense of Place in STEMS^2: A Catalyst For Global Citizenship" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators, Flamingo Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, <Not Available>. 2018-08-30 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1293774_index.html>

APA Citation:

Yu, W. "Sense of Place in STEMS^2: A Catalyst For Global Citizenship" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators, Flamingo Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV <Not Available>. 2018-08-30 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1293774_index.html

Publication Type: Symposium Paper
Abstract: Students in STEMS^2 are challenged to solve real-world problems in their communities by drawing on their STEM knowledge in addition to their experiences, culture, and funds of knowledge (Rios-Aguilar, Kiyama, Gravitt, & Moll, 2011). STEMS^2 encourages students to connect to the content, the community, and back to their own lives, resulting in increasing student academic engagement and achievement (O’Neill, Ah Sam, Jumalon, Stuart, Enriquez, in press). For example, when STEMS^2 projects pertain to climate change, students go beyond learning definitions and causes; they strive to bring about change, whether it be through advocating for policy changes in government or designing innovative place-based solutions. This paper presents the critical self-reflection of a STEMS^2 master’s program graduate on the impact of integrating sense of place in the master’s program and beyond.

Place, specifically sense of place is central to STEMS^2, a construct that integrates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with the social sciences and sense of place (S^2). Utilizing place-based education (PBE) pedagogies, STEMS^2 is rooted in the community and teachers and textbooks are not seen as the sole sources of knowledge. This helps the content learned to be more socially and culturally relevant to both the students and the community.

Integrating sense of place goes beyond PBE practices by pushing students to explore their relationships with places and the ways place shapes their identities. Rooted in Gruenewald’s foundation of place (2003), STEMS^2 teaches students that “places teach us who, what and where we are, as well as how we might live our lives (p. 636). Place-based learning journeys cultivate relationships and connections with academic content (science, math, language, social studies, etc.) and with people and places in the community.

These connections instill a sense of civic responsibility and encourage students to take action. Smith and Sobel (2010) described Montana educator Michael Umphrey’s (2007) statement that children will be more committed to caring for the community when it is seen as the source of who they are (p. 95). This is accomplished when they get to know about their community’s members, feel an attachment to its places, and are proud of their roots (Smith & Sobel, p. 95).

In Hawaiʻi, Kanaʻiapuni and Malone (2006) found that “from a sense of place grows a sense of kuleana (responsibility)” (p. 298). This responsibility for the ʻāina (land) is strengthened by Hawaiian culture and tradition that connects them to it through its landscape, spirituality, genealogy, and history (Kanaʻiapuni and Malone, 2006). Kuleana has a strong presence in Hawaiian culture as it relates to place and community, connoting both responsibility and privilege. As Dudoit (1998) explained, ““kuleana” expresses that relationship between privilege and responsibility in a way that you cannot detach one from the other” (p. 1).

This kuleana driven by sense of place provokes students to participate in solving problems facing their local communities to act as responsible local and global citizens and has compelled a STEMS^2 master’s program graduate to consider her own kuleana and shares the impact on her own community involvement.

References
Gruenewald, D. A. (2003). Foundations of place: A multidisciplinary framework for place-conscious education. American Educational Research Journal, 40 (3), 619–654. doi.org/10.3102/00028312040003619

Kanaʻiaupuni, S. M., & Malone, N. (2006). This land is my land: The role of place in native Hawaiian identity. Hūlili, 3(1), 281–307.

O’Neill, T., Ah Sam, A., Jumalon, S., Stuart, K., & Enriquez, M. A. (in press). A‘o Hawai‘i: The role of culture and place in empowering teacher leaders as STEMS^2 educators. Cultural Studies in Science Education.

Rios-Aguilar, C., Kiyama, J. M., Gravitt, M., & Moll, L. C. (2011). Funds of knowledge for the poor and forms of capital for the rich? A capital approach to examining funds of knowledge. Theory and Research in Education, 9(2), 163–184. doi.org/10.1177/1477878511409776

Smith, G. A., & Sobel, D. (2010). Place- and community-based education in schools. New York, NY: Routledge.


Similar Titles:
Higher Education, STEM, and Global Citizenship: A Nexus for Social Inclusion


 
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