455 Views
  1. Clara McCurdy-Kirlis
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/clara-mccurdy-kirlis/
  3. Project Manager
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Eden Badertscher
  2. https://www.edc.org/staff/eden-badertscher
  3. Principal Research Scientist
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Vivian Guilfoy
  2. http://ltd.edc.org/people/vivian-guilfoy
  3. Senior Advisor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Joyce Malyn-Smith
  2. https://edc.org/staff/joyce-malyn-smith
  3. Distinguished Scholar
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Sarita Pillai
  2. http://ltd.edc.org/people/sarita-pillai
  3. Vice President
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)
  1. Kevin Waterman
  2. https://www.edc.org/staff/kevin-waterman
  3. Project Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Education Development Center (EDC)

STELAR

NSF Awards: 1949200

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

All Age Groups

This is an informative report that presents a new tool that educators, policy makers, innovators and beyond can use to understand the structures in place that prevent change towards a more equitable and diverse society.  If used with an open mind to the endless possibilities to invoke positive change, this tool could be a catalyst for making equitable transformations at education, policy, and cultural levels.   

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Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (25 posts)
  • Icon for: Clara McCurdy-Kirlis

    Clara McCurdy-Kirlis

    Lead Presenter
    Project Manager
    May 9, 2022 | 05:54 p.m.

    We are excited to have you here to learn more about this third report in a series on the future of work, titled “Perspectives from the Field on Equity and the Future of Work: Developing the Next Generation of Talent.” This report introduces a compelling tool that can support change makers and system stakeholders through the complexities of thinking about both systems and their impacts on the real people involved, while also centering those same people purposefully in reconstructing systems of equity and opportunity in STEM fields.  As you watch our video, please comment on how you might envision using the tool in your work or share any questions that come to mind around the purpose and use of this tool and how it can be applied to STEM fields and career pathways.  The report itself will be published early next month. 

    We look forward to an engaging conversation with you!

     
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    James Callahan
    Leah McAlister-Shields
  • May 17, 2022 | 07:14 p.m.

    Clara and Vivian: Our team eagerly awaits the report, soon to be published.  I am noting this for follow-up.  To be sure to study it, learn more from your work when the report is released.

    This is a very important and wonderful video. Right on the theme of this year's Showcase.

  • Icon for: Matt McLeod

    Matt McLeod

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 11:37 a.m.

    Hi - Great work! Where can we get a more detailed description of the compass?

  • Icon for: Kevin Waterman

    Kevin Waterman

    Co-Presenter
    Project Director
    May 10, 2022 | 11:42 a.m.

    Thanks, Matt.

    The report will be published on the STELAR website (stelar.edc.org) in the next few weeks, and we'll be working on a Facilitator's Kit in the coming months, which will also be found there.

    Kevin

  • Icon for: Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Co-Presenter
    Distinguished Scholar
    May 11, 2022 | 11:43 a.m.

     What equity question is driving your current work?  For example, a question driving one of our current projects is:  How do we develop an equitable computer science pathway for all the students in our school system?   What is your equity question?

  • Icon for: Nickolay Hristov

    Nickolay Hristov

    Facilitator
    Senior Scientist, Associate Professor, Director
    May 11, 2022 | 04:53 p.m.

    I am glad that you pose this question, Joyce. From my experience, it is difficult to create and authentic, equitable computer science pathway when the schools system is not inherently equitable. So the larger question that I wrestle with is, how do you forward-design at that scale for a larger system.   

     
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    Joyce Malyn-Smith
  • Icon for: Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Co-Presenter
    Distinguished Scholar
    May 11, 2022 | 05:05 p.m.

    This compass was designed especially to help address that issue.  As groups meet together to discuss their equity question, the compass implementation guide suggests guiding questions to help the group define various elements needed to make the conversation more productive.  For example if the central question is how to develop a more authentic, equitable CS pathway, when considering the existing power systems - the group might answer the question -  What existing policies are preventing students from under resourced communities from participating in a CS pathway? or :How are CS resources allocated to schools/classrooms in our community?.....    By answering some of these questions a discussion group can develop a picture of the existing institutional barriers to developing an equitable CS pathway.   The compass development team drafted a set of guiding questions that can help groups engage in discussions to identify, for example, the basic human needs that are driving change, or the existing behaviors, events that perpetuate the status quo.   It has been a really interesting experience to look at these topics through the compass lens.

  • Icon for: Channa Comer

    Channa Comer

    Facilitator
    STEM Educator
    May 11, 2022 | 04:29 p.m.

    Hello and thank you for sharing your work. What a rich and creative resource. I particularly like that it moves beyond theory to action. I also appreciate the foundational recognition that diversity naturally leads to greater creativity and innovation. Using a compass as a model is very accessible and the model cleverly incorporates human-centered design and improvement science. Is there a particular improvement science model that you use in your method? How do you recommend how someone who uses this tool engages the people they are trying to attract in the process if they are not already part of the organization? For example, an organization that wants to increase diversity and decides to use this tool but does not have diversity within the organization that would inform them as they go through the compass process.

     
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    Nickolay Hristov
  • Icon for: Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Co-Presenter
    Distinguished Scholar
    May 11, 2022 | 05:12 p.m.

    I would not let the lack of diversity hold you back. It would be necessary to have an experienced facilitator to guide the discussion - And a set of guiding questions to help the group analyze their current condition and move the conversation forward. Diversity within the group is, of course, very helpful, especially to provide a wide range of perspectives to the questions asked.  Breakthroughs in thinking often occur at the intersections of disciplines and perspectives. We expect to publish an implementation guide with guiding questions and examples within the next couple of months. Check out the STELAR website for the Compass and related publications.   

  • Icon for: Channa Comer

    Channa Comer

    Facilitator
    STEM Educator
    May 11, 2022 | 06:43 p.m.

    Hello Joyce,

    Thank you for the thoughtful response. I am curious if there is a particular improvement science model that you used when developing your compass method. I am most familiar with the Carnegie method.

     

  • Icon for: Abigail Stark

    Abigail Stark

    Associate Producer and STEM Instructor
    May 11, 2022 | 05:34 p.m.

    I cannot praise your video highly enough. This is a perfect example of how incorporating concepts of intersectionality into STEM fields—especially those that seek to improve our quality of life—is not only wildly beneficial, but necessary. If we don’t have input from the people affected by our decisions when we make them, we can’t make good choices. I am absolutely blown away; this is perfect!

     
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    James Callahan
  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Advisor
    May 11, 2022 | 06:31 p.m.

     Hi Abigal.  Thanks so much for your comments.  As I wrote on your video site: "It's clear to me that when young people, like yourself, combine hope, purpose and creative actions, the world can change for the better.  And you are right.  It will take "all" of us to look squarely at root causes of injustice and inequity, understand the real needs of people, and co-construct options that change the status quo and move toward a better and more sustainable world.  When our Equity Systems Change Compass tool is published, (stelar.edc.org)  we would like your group to take a closer look at it and think about ways that your teams or others may be able to use it to enhance your work.  My best to you.  

     
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    James Callahan
  • Icon for: Clara Cogswell

    Clara Cogswell

    Community Support Hydrologist
    May 12, 2022 | 09:40 a.m.

    I found the comments from the youth focus group participant to be so impactful, this really demonstrates that centering the community voice from the conception of a project is what brings about the most impact. Great project!

  • Icon for: Eden Badertscher

    Eden Badertscher

    Co-Presenter
    Principal Research Scientist
    May 13, 2022 | 12:13 p.m.

    Thank you, Clara. The youth focus group (which came from The Young People's Project) was really a remarkable conversation. Their conversations and ideas were both parallel to and quite different from other experts, reinforcing how visionary they can be while also having a deep understanding of the here and now. One thing that really set them apart as well was how technology, particularly social media played in. For example they recognized its use in misinformation, but more to the point, they talked about how it can be used to hold people/groups accountable in new ways, if we begin to incorporate it into our educational processes, rather than this standalone tool that we think of a separate. It is part of the world we are in, and a very powerful vehicle for communication and information, so let's focus on learning and using it effectively. We can't stop misinformation, but the same tool for spreading can be the tool of correcting that. 

    The power of these young people can also be seen in the video from the research practice partnership in which the Young People's Project engages (https://videohall.com/p/2415) with other partners around computer science. 

     
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    Vivian Guilfoy
  • Icon for: Sue Allen

    Sue Allen

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 12, 2022 | 08:26 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this project - I resonate with the powerful vision and the recognition of there being key questions to unearth as part of the conversation (getting at the deeper 'why' this is happening) and then those can help suggest new courses of action.

    I look forward to seeing the tool fully described, since it's hard to dig into design questions without having it in hand. I resonate with Channa's question about what to do if the people participating don't represent stakeholders that matter to you, and particularly the marginalized groups you're hoping to connect with. It seems to me that the discussion would get you to a certain point, but surely there's no substitute for directly engaging with the range of groups involved, to hear their perspectives on these questions. And of course that's not simple. Are there processes or representations that would be more familiar to some of the other stakeholders in your conversations? Or could project outsiders feel at a disadvantage if they participate because the compass is new to them?

  • Icon for: Eden Badertscher

    Eden Badertscher

    Co-Presenter
    Principal Research Scientist
    May 13, 2022 | 01:32 p.m.

    Sue, It is a really important question about helping represent stakeholders, and yet, in an imperfect world, we can't always have everyone participate. I think a key question is "why." Who is and who is not participating should be a central discussion and can be part of the system analysis itself. For example are those who are participating the groups who have the most power? If so, what does that help us uncover about our system, its goals, our mental models? If it is truly impossible to have people participate, why it is impossible is another question. What are the barriers to participation? Can we redesign the process to eliminate those barriers? If not, are there other mechanisms we can use to work to get those perspectives and learn from these stakeholders? Can focus groups (virtual or face to face) be implemented to really understand their experiences? their basic needs?

    A very important principle though is that one group cannot claim to know or understand the experience of another group or another person any more than the perceived needs of one group cannot supercede that of another (this is the heart of power); moreover, we cannot claim to know how their basic needs were supported or thwarted so assumptions cannot be made and have the process continue based on assumptions. Starting without all stakeholders hopefully will give rise to the understanding that we need to have all voices represented, whether through bringing them into the full process, or through other mechanisms, such as focus groups. However I would caution that a design process that doesn't include the diverse groups will simply by default be more supportive of the groups involved. Sometimes that is unavoidable; however, in these cases, that should always be explicit and openly discussed, along with the recognition that until all are involved we cannot really achieve equity. In such cases, is it possible overtime to build in revision mechanisms that bring groups in in ways that truly privilege their knowledge and experience and really allow them to contribute to ongoing system shaping? 

     
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    Vivian Guilfoy
  • Icon for: Channa Comer

    Channa Comer

    Facilitator
    STEM Educator
    May 15, 2022 | 06:49 a.m.

    Eden, thank you. I appreciate your thoughtful and nuanced reply. I have participated in many well-intended DEI conversations, and have seen how they can go horribly wrong and rather than address issues in a meaningful way, perpetuate the usual power dynamics and narratives. 

    I also asked a question about your improvement science focus and whether you are using a particular model. I am very familiar with the Carnegie model and use it in my work in NYC to tackle the issue of improving academic outcomes of our English Language Learners. Can you elaborate on that as well? 

  • Icon for: Eden Badertscher

    Eden Badertscher

    Co-Presenter
    Principal Research Scientist
    May 15, 2022 | 01:39 p.m.

    Channa, I think your first point above is so critical. I have worked in system change for a long time, and more often than not, it goes wrong, or doesn't lead anywhere and just makes people feel good for trying. This is a particular reason why I am so interested in the connection between understanding systems at a deep level and how we can use this understanding to lead to thoughtful system change design. 

    This is not at all disconnected from your question about the system change model we are grounded in (or your question in other comments about who was involved). This team brings a substantial array of experience in system change models, but I will share concretely my experiences and what makes sense to me and leave others to speak to theirs.

    I am quite familiar with and have used improvement science in working on issues of racial equity in schools. However, I found the basic model powerful, but also had drawbacks around racial equity in particular in the sense of we do not explicitly have to acknowledge our own role in system maintenance; if we do not see our own selves as participants in system maintenance (even while we are also trying to change it) then our efforts at change are hampered. In particular this allows us to believe the needed change is only external to us. On another project I built a change model for schools and teachers in particular grounded in acknowledging our role and contributions to maintenance first and foremost. My contribution on this project is grounded in that experience. In addition, I also drew on my experience with community-based system dynamics which for me is most closely aligned to in the north through east side of this compass. CBSD is a participatory approach to understanding how a system is experienced by the stakeholders and actually can be used to support the work of north through east. I see explicitly, in the east and west of the compass, the long used systems pyramid which incorporates events, patterns, structures and mental models... this is important in CBSD, in the work of Peter Senge (fifth discipline), and in the process I developed on another project. in the south is Basic Needs Theory; it's part of Self Determination Theory the most widely researched and documented theory of human motivation in cognitive science across the world. It is through Basic Needs theory that we worked to anchor this compass in the needs of people. Too often system foci are not integrated with the needs and experiences of people as human beings as a cornerstone (this is purposeful on many levels so it is not a criticism as much as an important observation... our team felt that we needed to have the needs of people as both individuals and groups as a cornerstone of design); Basic Needs Theory also provides a way to understand how and why systems do not benefit all equitably and allows for the possibility of valid, reliable and ongoing measurement relative to stakeholder experiences. 

    Finally, the north of this system is actually grounded in the conversations with many diverse changemakers that we spoke with through this project. The paper will help provide much of the information I believe you are looking for regarding who was involved in this work. In the interim, please visit the video of this ITEST/INCLUDES/AISL project: https://stemforall2022.videohall.com/presentati... . Three of the co-PIs of this project focused on STEM for people who are justice-impacted were contributors to this paper as was the Young People's Project, who also have the following video: https://stemforall2022.videohall.com/presentati... .

     
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    Vivian Guilfoy
  • Icon for: Sue Allen

    Sue Allen

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 12, 2022 | 09:37 p.m.

    I forgot to ask - I'd also love to know more about your evaluation process (both formative and summative) - did you run the compass through an iterative cycle of testing in real settings with real stakeholders? What kinds of things did that reveal? (would be fascinating!) And what kinds of final outcomes did you assess for the efficacy of the compass? Thanks!

  • Icon for: Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Co-Presenter
    Distinguished Scholar
    May 13, 2022 | 06:58 p.m.

    This is a relatively new effort and we are interested in working with communities wanting to help us further test out this model. Still a work in progress.  Thank you for asking.  If you are interested in working with us to test test the Equity Systems Change Compass in your community, please don't hesitate to contact the STELAR team.

     
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    Vivian Guilfoy
  • Icon for: Channa Comer

    Channa Comer

    Facilitator
    STEM Educator
    May 15, 2022 | 06:56 a.m.

    Hello Stelar team! After reviewing the Stelar website, I am curious about how you are including diverse voices in the development of your report and facilitator's toolkit. While there are women on your team, I did not see any representation of the other underrepresented groups that your report seeks to impact. 

     
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    Leah McAlister-Shields
  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Advisor
    May 15, 2022 | 08:22 a.m.

    Thanks for your question. To develop the project and to gain a more nuanced view of the current state of work and workforce education, we  worked with leaders and representatives of the communities most affected by changes taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From July through October 2020, we reached out to a wide range of organizations for referrals for “champions of equity” to participate in one-on-one interviews. (Details of the names and affiliations of interviewees can be found in our upcoming report ).  We ultimately interviewed 9 highly recommended individuals (seven men and three women, of whom five are white and five are people of color) recognized as equity experts/thought leaders and a panel of six youth (all of color, of different cultural backgrounds, and from historically underrepresented groups. We also researched the voices of diverse groups in business, education, justice, labor and community. We look forward to joining with diverse groups in testing the efficacy of the Compass Tool and Guide. 

  • Icon for: Brooke Coley

    Brooke Coley

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2022 | 03:23 p.m.

    Thank you for the work that you're doing. In our research addressing racial equity in engineering through a focus on the lived experience, I am most perplexed by a failure to move beyond awareness. While your model moves from the conversation to action, I am wondering how accountability and the identification for whose responsible for implementation of established actions is addressed?

    I'd be extremely interested in learning more about this work and potentially leveraging our research findings  from a community of Black engineering graduates students to explore the Equity Systems Change Compass.

     
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    Vivian Guilfoy
  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Advisor
    May 17, 2022 | 04:29 p.m.

    We are very interested in learning more about your research and would definitely like to explore potential collaborations going forward.  We'll be in touch when our report and the Equity Systems Change Compass is published in a few weeks. 

  • Icon for: Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Joyce Malyn-Smith

    Co-Presenter
    Distinguished Scholar
    May 17, 2022 | 06:14 p.m.

    Channa, Thank you for your thoughts and concerns. Based on your questions re the Compass, I’d like to share the history of how the Compass was developed to clarify any misconceptions about the foundation and origins of this tool. When we first set out to explore equity and the future of work, we had no idea that the conversations would result in the Equity Systems Change Compass. Our goal was to develop a report that shared perspectives on Equity and the Future of Work from champions working at the front lines of equity. Three members of the STELAR team were part of the 6 member group that authored the report. Each author was selected because of their prior history of equity work. As Vivian commented, for interviews we actively sought individuals from under-resourced communities, business, and academia who were recognized by their peers as champions of equity. Youth leaders from 9th grade through college from the Young People’s Project also contributed their voices and experience working in this space

    It was through conversations with people working on the front lines of equity and analysis of these interviews that we found a number of patterns emerge.  As we organized and grouped the individual comments/ideas from interviewees onto a visual space we began to see themes that represented the patterns. Some themes were oppositional (e.g. characteristics of the existing system which prevent change vs human needs driving change). We recognized that the comments of interviewees reflected theories and models found in literature that shape thinking.  Again, our goal was to understand equity and the future of work from the perspective of our interviewees. As we moved these patterned themes around the visual space to understand the relationship of themes to each other and relevant literature (theories/models) we assigned them topic titles and the points on the Equity Systems Change Compass emerged.  Once this occurred it was gratifying to see that the organization of topics represented a thought progression as one moved from the North to Northeast, to East… and around the compass back to a new North. And that moving along this progression might guide a group through discussions of equity issues while keeping the conversation productively moving in positive, action oriented directions.  With appropriate guiding questions and an experienced facilitator, we realized that this might be helpful to communities seeking to address difficult equity issues - without falling into the trap of using these discussions only to vent.

    The Equity Systems Change Compass is the product of those interviews and reflects the thoughts, ideas and views of our interviewees connected to relevant models/theories and organized into what we hope will be a tool useful to groups seeking productive ways to discuss equity issues.

    Regarding your questions around the composition of the STELAR team and focus on equity. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is a primary focus of both the STELAR Center and Education Development Center (EDC). Building on perspectives from those most affected by inequities is central to STELAR’s work and an approach we use frequently in our project activities. We are focused on equity and diversity in our team make-up as well, and work intentionally to involve diverse perspectives in our work. Three members of the STELAR team were part of the 6 member group that authored the report. Each author was selected because of their prior history of equity work.  Compass report author Sarita Pillai is the PI of STELAR and also serves as EDC’s Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer. As the resource center for the NSF ITEST Program, STELAR is charged with broadening participation in the ITEST portfolio to researchers with a diversity of experiences and perspectives. We are also tasked with supporting and disseminating the research conducted by ITEST grantees, each of which are charged with designing programs that are specifically focused on recruiting, supporting, and encouraging PK-12 learners from underserved communities and/or are underrepresented in STEM fields. 

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