In Designing for Diversity Part 1: Where is Equity and Inclusion in Curriculum Design?, we addressed the lack of equity and inclusivity in many curriculum materials and questioned whether established approaches to designing and implementing STEM+CS curricula were suitable to the diverse needs of students. In Designing for Diversity Part 2: The Equity and Inclusion Framework for Curriculum Design, we described The Equity and Inclusion Framework for Curriculum Design (EI-CD) approach for designing and modifying STEM+CS curriculum materials. We introduced two tools—the Equity and Inclusion Design Principles (EI Design Principles) and Equity and Inclusion Planning Guide (EI Planning Guide). They support the implementation of the EI-CD approach, a curriculum design and modification cycle that integrates equity and inclusion into curriculum design. The EI-CD approach encourages state and local education leaders, community stakeholders, student advocates, and other contributors to STEM+CS education to collaborate in building the cultural context into the design or modification of curriculum materials. In this paper, we provide suggestions for how state and local leaders can move towards transformation and change in curriculum use in schools and communities that serve students with diverse needs, strengths, and contributions to society.
In Designing for Diversity Part 1, Where is Equity and Inclusion in Curriculum Design? we noted the lack of equity and inclusivity in the creation of widely disseminated curriculum materials. We asked the question: Are the established approaches to designing and implementing science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science (STEM+CS) curricula suitable to the diverse needs of students? In this paper, we introduce The Equity and Inclusion Framework for Curriculum Design (EI-CD) approach and Equity and Inclusion Design Principles (EI Design Principles). The framework is guided by evidence-centered design (ECD) methods originally developed for formative assessment (Alozie et al., 2018) and the design of instructional materials (Fujii et al., 2020).
This paper describes how the EI-CD approach can be used to review and modify existing curriculum and instructional materials to meet equity and inclusivity goals. It is intended to help districts and schools work toward equity and inclusion within the constraints of their current curriculum. At its core, the EI-CD approach creates feedback loops that are grounded in EI Design Principles and aimed at continuously learning about and addressing the unique needs of students. The EI-CD approach makes equity and inclusion central tenets of the curriculum development and/or modification process.
High-quality STEM+CS curricula should not only incorporate our most current standards; they should also be equitable and inclusive. Curricula do not exist in a vacuum; teachers interpret curricula based on their own frameworks, and students experience curricula through their own lenses. This human interaction with curricula means that issues of equity and inclusion must be addressed; without doing so, some people will have greater access than others. But how well suited are established approaches to informing, designing, and implementing STEM+CS curricula to the diverse needs of diverse students? This whitepaper series proposes a novel approach to designing and/or modifying instructional materials that address diversity by purposefully and systemically integrating equity and inclusion principles at the onset of curriculum design.
This paper, the first in a series of three, describes why current approaches to designing STEM+CS curricula are inadequate; defines diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of curriculum design; and introduces The Equity and Inclusion Framework for Curriculum Design (EI-CD) approach for designing and adapting STEM+CS curriculum materials to meet the needs of diverse students. A second paper describes the EI-CD approach in detail, showing how the structure, coherence, and rigor of evidence-centered design is leveraged. The third and final paper explores how state and local education leaders can work with the EI-CD approach to make STEM+CS instruction more equitable and inclusive.
We describe a principled approach to designing STEM curricular activities that puts equity and inclusion (EI) at the forefront of the design process from its instantiation to its development. We illustrate this process using insights from designing a curriculum unit aligned with the US Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and an EI framework focused on supporting student engagement and use of language. The process identifies helpful ways to articulate design guidance for instructional designers.
The 21st century skills and STEM learning standards include collaboration as a necessary learning skill in K-12 science education. To support the development of collaboration skills among students, it is important to assess and support students’ proficiency in collaboration. We present the process of developing a tool that assesses collaboration quality based on behavioral communication at individual and group levels. The assessment tool uses behavior analytics comprised of multistage machine learning models built on an intricate collaboration conceptual model and coding scheme. Our collaboration conceptual model shows how layers of behavioral cues contribute to collaboration and serves as the foundation of an automated assessment tool for collaboration. We present initial findings that show reliability between our assessment of behavioral interactions with and without speech. An automated collaboration assessment tool will give teachers information about student collaboration and help inform instruction that will guide and support students’ collaboration skill development.
Transforming thought to verbalizations: Supporting verbal communication in middle school collaboration activities
Collaboration is an important 21st-century skill that students must be able to master as they progress through school and into their careers (National Research Council [NRC], 2012). Collaboration is also an integral part of STEM learning and is included in many of the recent efforts to revise learning goals for students (such as the Next Generation Science Standards). We analyzed over 200 middle school students that worked collaboratively to develop instructional guides for teachers and students that use collaboration for problems solving and designing artifacts in science. We show how students worked together to determine how to solve problems by (1) negotiating what the task was asking, (2) understanding what other group members were contributing, (3) working through disagreements, and (4) converging on a solution. Finally, we provide guidance for what to look for during instruction to determine students’ collective progress as collaborators.
Automatic detection of collaboration quality from the students’ speech could support teachers in monitoring group dynamics, diagnosing issues, and developing pedagogical intervention plans. To address the challenge of mapping characteristics of individuals’ speech to information about the group, we coded behavioral and learning-related indicators of collaboration at the individual level. In this work, we investigate the feasibility of predicting the quality of collaboration among a group of students working together to solve a math problem from human-labelled collaboration indicators. We use a corpus of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students working in groups of three to solve math problems collaboratively. Researchers labelled both the group-level collaboration quality during each problem and the student-level collaboration indicators. Results using random forests reveal that the individual indicators of collaboration aid in the prediction of group collaboration quality.
The challenge of assessing “knowledge in use”: Examples from three-dimensional science learning and instruction
This symposium includes four papers focused on meeting challenges in the design and use of assessments of science proficiency for which students are expected to demonstrate their ability to explain scientific phenomena and solve problems by integrating disciplinary concepts with science and engineering practices. This view of multi-dimensional integrated science learning is exemplified by the performance expectations articulated in the Next Generation Science Standards. The four papers describe work that spans multiple grade levels and includes illustrations of the systematic design of assessments of knowledge-in-use for a range of life and physical science concepts, including a focus on energy. Illustrative tasks are provided together with data on student performance. The papers also consider issues of teacher implementation in classrooms, as well as methods that can be used to help teachers gain a deeper understanding of multi-dimensional science learning goals and effective assessment materials.
We introduce the SRI speech-based collaborative learning corpus, a novel collection designed for the investigation and measurement of how students collaborate together in small groups. This is a multi-speaker corpus containing high-quality audio recordings of middle school students working in groups of three to solve mathematical problems. Each student was recorded via a head-mounted noise-cancelling microphone. Each group was also recorded via a stereo microphone placed nearby. A total of 80 sessions were collected with the participation of 134 students. The average duration of a session was 20 minutes. All students spoke English; for some students, English was a second language. Sessions have been annotated with time stamps to indicate which mathematical problem the students were solving and which student was speaking. Sessions have also been hand annotated with common indicators of collaboration for each speaker (e.g., inviting others to contribute, planning) and the overall collaboration quality for each problem. The corpus will be useful to education researchers interested in collaborative learning and to speech researchers interested in children’s speech, speech analytics, and speech diarization. The corpus, both audio and annotation, will be made available to researchers.