STEM Center Colloquium "Designing for Heterogeneity in Learning Environments: Towards Critical Socio-Ecological Science Education"

Logo representing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math


March 10, 2017


10:00am - 11:00am


SZB 324


Dr. Megan Bang (Associate Professor in Education and Affiliate of American Indian Studies, The University of Washington at Seattle) will discuss how cultural differences in upbringing can have an impact on learning and reasoning.

Understanding cultural heterogeneity and the impacts on teaching and learning continues to be a critical endeavor for achieving forms of equity. This is especially true in science education and in expanding our fundamental knowledge of human learning. In this talk, Dr. Bang explores the heterogeneity of human-nature relations and their influences on epistemic practices, knowledge, reasoning and activity about, in, and with the natural world that emerge in everyday contexts. These relationships exist in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities as well as in two community-based design experiments focused on wetland and ocean ecosystems.

Utilizing both interview and video data, Dr. Bang examines cross-cultural differences in perspective taking and spatial and temporal framings and their impacts on reasoning about ecosystems. She then will present how these insights have been mobilized in the design and enactment of learning environments. Dr. Bang also explores how perspective taking and spatial and temporal framings shaped the kinds of reasoning and opportunities children had to learn and engage in sense making as well as the kinds of identities and social positioning that were intertwined in these learning moments. This study has implications for the design of learning environments particularly those focused on preparing children to reason and engaged in decision making about critical socio-scientific issues.