One World: Refugee youth incubating epistemologies toward rightful presence with/in community-driven STEM

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Beverly S. Faircloth, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Edna Tan, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study investigates how recently resettled refugee youth took up STEM-rich making experiences at an after-school community club in relation to negotiating their resettlement process. Using critical participatory ethnography grounded in sustained engagement with and in community, authors 1 and 2 worked with refugee youth through sustained STEM-rich making programming where youth innovated and created products that they needed but did not have access to, at their residential community center. We draw on atmospheric walls (alienating messaging built into spaces) and rightful presence toward justice in teaching and learning, as complimentary conceptual frameworks to guide this study. Findings illustrate how youth engaged in allied political struggles to identify atmospheric walls at work in the community and how they seeded moments of rightful presence through leveraging both human and material resources in their STEM-rich making club. We discuss incubating epistemologies as a making present practice, especially in how particular power structures in refugee communities were made visible and specific stakeholders and their actions, identifiable. How youth engaged in allied political struggles through community-driven STEM, nested within the social dynamics of their resettlement process, is unpacked. This study provides insights into the possibilities for community-driven science. When STEM-rich maker education is driven by communities' needs and grounded in their epistemologies, it can attend to both epistemic rigor while also addressing injustice. We discuss the implications that a stance on community-driven science raises for the role of science education, especially when we concern ourselves with the whole lives of refugee youth.

Additional Information

Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 60(8)
Language: English
Date: 2023
epiologies, justice, making, refugee youth, rightful presence, STEM

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