Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In our efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization we have initially focused on self-education. By sharing resources through an internal discussion group, we created a productive space where ideas can be shared by people within our collaborative from a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints, creating a baseline of different perspectives for moving forward. Initially, the group shared and examined a variety of resources including articles, videos, and invited guest speakers, taking turns facilitating discussions, with a focus on areas where we can contribute our resources, knowledge, and learning around DEI. The common factor of our discussions has been school equity. We examined topics that either directly concern the classroom environment or are carried into the classroom by students from their everyday lives.
In terms of application, these discussions have influenced the methodology of our work with the school district, including mindfulness of language and selection of scientists to highlight in the classroom. We have begun examining our methodology for recruitment to our programs, in particular evaluating the equity and limitations inherent in determining which students have access to the opportunities we provide. We are adjusting our admissions program to remove unintended barriers to interested students. We are developing lessons and activities that incorporate social justice topics into our STEAM education programs. This includes lesson plans, workshops, and intradepartmental presentations. We are also pursuing partnerships in these endeavors. We are careful to ensure the primary purpose of these lesson plans corresponds to our goal for improvements to STEAM education.
It has become clear that recognizing issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and the myriad ways they present themselves in our society, schools, communities, and daily life is a lifelong learning process. As educators, we will continue the work of self-development and programmatic change not only for ourselves but in the service of the students, classrooms, and communities we serve.
This has been a year of growth and reflection, and we plan to continue the ongoing processes of learning and growth alongside actions to benefit the students, teachers, schools, and communities in which we live and work. Please continue to visit this page for updates on our work and for future resources.
The Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach