A Need to Support Teacher Diversity Through Culturally Relevant STEM Education at the Elementary School

Abstract

The United States and European nations are persistently engaged in advocating the need for culturally relevant practices for the diverse student population to achieve maximum student participation and engagement in mathematics and science (hereinafter referred as MSED). However, there exists a huge gap in preparing mathematics and science teachers who could implement culturally relevant practices for the diverse population in the United States (Menshah, 2010 & Sleeter, 2011). Students participation, from marginalized communities, in MSED depending on their family background, awareness of higher education courses, and assistance with preparation exams like SAT and ACT (Rawal & Decosta, 2019). This study argues that there are bright possibilities of increasing the marginalized students’ participation in MSED through preparing teachers for culturally relevant practices from early grades, through lived experiences of two Indian teachers who are also doctoral candidates at a Southwestern university in Texas. This study investigated two female Indian teachers, engaged in teacher education preparation program in a tier one university in southeast Texas. Findings based on auto-ethnography identified culturally relevant mathematics and science education (MSED) as a tool to improve language learners’ participation in the content areas mentioned. Preparing pre-service teachers with an MSED focus could promote a stronger foundation in mathematics and science for elementary level students, by eliminating their biases such as mathematics and science as a pre-dominate field for ethnically White or Asian students only.



Author Information
Neha Anand, University of Houston, United States
Ananthi Shankaranarayanan, University of Houston, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2020
Stream: Teaching Experiences

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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