Practical guidance for teachers aiming to strategically support the full participation and engagement of minoritized students in STEM education.
In Teaching Toward Rightful Presence in Middle School STEM, Edna Tan and Angela Calabrese Barton introduce the rightful presence framework, a multifaceted approach to instruction that enables historically marginalized students to gain agency in their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning.
This necessary work presents practical, justice-centered STEM pedagogy that can begin to reverse the messages of exclusion that have pervaded K–12 science education. Tan and Calabrese Barton first delve into the complex legacy of systemic injustice in education, showing how forms of racialization and colonization that are manifest in schooling practices have excluded and led to the disengagement of students who have been historically marginalized because of their race, immigration status, language, class, sexuality, or gender. Through cases and vignettes from middle-school classrooms, they illustrate real-life strategies and instructional decisions that help counteract inequalities. Reaching beyond inclusion, they suggest approaches such as coplanning, coproduction, and community ethnography that disrupt the norms of the science classroom and validate the community's powerful cultural knowledge and relevant experience.
Tan and Calabrese Barton show how the rightful presence framework can foster student engagement and support identity formation. This work gives teachers and other practitioners a means to critique, challenge, and disrupt underlying power structures in middle school STEM.
Edna Tan is Hooks Distinguished Professor of STEM Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her collaborative research investigates what constitutes equitable and consequential science and engineering learning for historically underrepresented, minoritized youth across learning contexts and over time.
Angela Calabrese Barton is chair of Educational Studies and professor of science education and the learning sciences at the University of Michigan. She studies approaches to science teaching and learning in school and community settings that disrupt/transform systemic injustices in learning environments serving minoritized youth and that promote justice-oriented outcomes.
“This book offers a new vision of teaching as a political and deeply relational process in which youth coproduce, with educators, a vibrant curriculum that takes advantage of their identities, diverse forms of expertise, ways of engaging with the world, and rights to be full collaborators in expansive learning.” —Mark Windschitl, professor of science teaching and learning, University of Washington
“Teaching Toward Rightful Presence in Middle School STEM is a revelatory text that illuminates the power of rightful presence. Tan and Calabrese Barton offer STEM educators a vision for how to engage students in meaningful social justice pedagogy. The power of their words lives in the reality that their text offers two keys for diversity in STEM teaching: First, Tan and Calabrese Barton craft a beautiful theoretical explanation of rightful presence. Second, the text supports that theory of powerful narratives of how to offer STEM instruction that empowers student to become agents of social justice in STEM.” —Bryan Brown, professor of science education, Stanford Graduate School of Education
“Tan and Calabrese Barton transport the theoretical construct of rightful presence from critical justice studies in sanctuary cities to justice-centered pedagogies in STEM classrooms. By offering rich portraits of how minoritized youth brilliantly claim their rightful presence, they guide readers to rethink guest-host relationships in middle school STEM teaching and learning.” —Okhee Lee, professor, New York University