1. Elizabeth Wright
  3. Pennsylvania State University, University of South Carolina, American Museum of Natural History
  1. Lindsay Fulton
  2. Director of Research Services
  4. American Ancestors
  1. Nina Jablonski
  2. http://sites.psu.edu/ninajablonski/
  3. Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology
  5. Pennsylvania State University
  1. Brandon Ogbunu
  2. Assistant Professor (and Finding Your Roots Instructor)
  4. Brown University
  1. Michael Turner
  2. Finding Your Roots Instructor
  4. Morehouse College

Using a Personalized Genetics & Genealogy Approach to Improve Learning Outcom...

NSF Awards: 0905606

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

Concerned about the lack of diversity in STEM fields, Penn State professor Nina Jablonski and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gathered a group of committed historians, artists, biologists, geneticists, anthropologists, genealogists, and educators to develop a curriculum that would invite students to consider who they are genetically, genealogically/socio-culturally, and intentionally.

Grounded in NGSS, the Finding Your Roots curriculum is designed to be malleable, inviting teachers to leverage their strengths and their student’s interests. Its implementation can include faculty across disciplines, but it’s not necessary.

Once designed, the curriculum was piloted in a two-week camp environment at two different locations in the US. Immediately we could tell that there was something special happening. Students were engaged and curious, asking pointed and challenging questions. They disagreed. They developed hypotheses and research protocols.

And while we know that teachers want to develop curriculum that is personally relevant for their students, teachers are faced with the reality of teaching culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse students. Teachers are held accountable for test scores and effective student progress, and are often bound to curriculum that is tied to local, state, and national standards.

Curriculum and support materials have been designed to inspire teachers and students to think about relatedness in broad and inclusive ways, to challenge us to think about the ways in which we are connected, to encourage students to create durable records of oral and written family history, and to share the pieces of who we are with each other.

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