Exploring Culturally Based Pedagogies in STEM Through an International Lens

Exploring Culturally Based Pedagogies in STEM Through an International Lens

Between Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, 2023 the Smithsonian Science Education Center is offering a free online professional learning opportunity entitled, Exploring Culturally Based Pedagogies in STEM Through an International Lens​ to support educators in utilizing asset-based strategies in their STEM instruction and classroom activities. 

This professional development (PD) will create space for a community of educators focused on applying an international lens to STEM learning and exploring artifacts from around the world to emphasize the scientific value in ordinary objects. As a result of attending the PD, participants will learn how to support students in identifying connections between their learning and everyday activities, as well as develop an appreciation for socio-scientific issues around the world.

To view the detailed agenda, click here. All times are Eastern Time Zone.

Registration Information

Registration is free. The deadline to register is Thursday, October , 19, 2023 at 12 pm Eastern.

Program Overview

Participants of this workshop will have the opportunity to: 

  • Explore socio-scientific issues and community as a conduit for integrating culturally relevant, responsive, and sustaining pedagogy in STEM classrooms.
  • Learn how to support students in making global connections to local challenges. 
  • Gain a deeper understanding of ways everyday artifacts can support students in taking interest in socio-scientific issues within the local/global community.

 Each day of the workshop will conclude with a networking session where participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the different approaches educators use to engage youth and integrate culturally authentic instructional practices in their school communities.  


Program Contact

For questions about this program, please contact Addy Allred, AllredA@si.edu.

Friday, October 20, 2023: Session Descriptions

Welcome Session: Participants will receive a warm welcome from Smithsonian Science Education Center Director, Dr. Carol O’Donnell, and hear from Jianhui, owner and designer of Jianhui London, a global sustainable jewelry brand. Jianhui’s pathway to jewelry design is a beautiful blend of science and culture working together to form a stylish means to advocacy. Through his personal story, Jianhui will share how his identity and formative educational experiences led him to STEM and ultimately his current profession as a sustainable fashion artist.

Session 1, Defining and Framing Socio-scientific Issues-Based Instruction for STEM ClassroomsDuring this session, participants will begin to arrive at a common understanding of socio-scientific issues-based instruction. Additionally, participants will begin to understand the points of intersection between culturally affirming pedagogies and SSI-based education and engage with activities within a Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Global Goals Guide as a tool to support educators in helping students connect with and take action to address local issues.

Session 2: Implementing SSI and Culturally Based Pedagogies into Classrooms & Curricula, During this session, participants will receive an overview of a framework for socio-scientific issues (SSI) based instruction and learn, through exemplars, how educators have used SSI-based instruction in their STEM classrooms to cultivate student’s authentic interests in STEM.

Networking Session 1, Programmatic Implementation: Participants will have the opportunity to rotate through a series of breakout sessions to learn about the different STEM resources and programs educators use to develop youth capacity to make decisions to improve their communities.

Saturday, October 21, 2023: Session Descriptions

Session 4: Working Session, During this session, participants will observe digital artifacts from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to begin to conceptualize how everyday objects and general concepts can be used as conduits to engage all students in science/STEM learning.   

Session 5: Panel and Planning Session, There is much to learn from our international friends about how to provide meaningful STEM learning opportunities. This panel discussion will allow participants to gain insights on the ways that STEM educators from around the world reach students in ways that infuse local perspectives to solve real problems in their communities. Following the panel, participants will identify a specific problem or practice related to culturally based teaching in their classroom or organization and develop a SMART goal to begin to discuss a pathway toward improvement.

Networking 2: Organizational Practices, Learn about the organizational practices and behaviors that different education systems have adopted to increase diverse student participation in STEM.