Does Literature Belong in the STEM Equation for Urban High-Poverty Elementary Schools?
Tuesday, November 15 11:15-11:35 AM Location: Edison F
Abstract: The lack of representation of African Americans and Hispanics in STEM fields is a growing concern, especially since experts predict that STEM skills will be necessary for the future. Many urban schools have programs to interest African American and Hispanic students in STEM, but participation remains stagnant. This presentation argues that culturally responsive teaching, particularly the use of literature, can be used for STEM teaching that is engaging for youth. The conjoining of literature and STEM integrated teaching, taught using culturally relevant pedagogy to urban elementary students as a way to increase students’ awareness, dispositions, and interest in STEM fields will be highlighted. Examples of using literature to accomplish these goals will be described. Much is left to be done to make this vision a reality in urban elementary schools, such as building awareness among teachers and administrators and training teachers to use these approaches.