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Icon for: Tara ONeill

TARA ONEILL

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Building Sustainable Pathways to STEM Teaching

NSF Awards: 1660781, 6101646

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

All Age Groups

This video shares an overview of the STEMS^2 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Sense of Place) construct and connected Masters in Education program (CS MEd STEMS^2) and the impacts the master's program has had on alumni. The master's program is offered via the Department of Curriculum Studies, College of Education at the University of Hawai‘i - Mānoa. The construct was developed via work funded by an ESEA Title II award and an NSF Noyce Capacity Building award.  STEMS² is a place and culture-sustaining construct that is composed of three parts: theory, pedagogy and a growing network. STEMS² theory integrates four major bodies of literature: 1) STEM education, 2) cultural-sustaining and multicultural education, 3) sense of place and place-based education, and 4) indigenous education. STEMS² pedagogy is grounded in five pillars that result in our embracing of the ōlelo no‘eau [Hawaiian proverb]of Ma ka hana ‘ike – through doing one learns. The five pillars are A‘o [reciprocal teaching and learning], Makawalu [eight eyes] represents the ability to see real-world problems and solutions through multiple lenses, many angles and multiple ways of knowing at the same time, Mo‘olelo [stories, history], Sense of Place and Advocacy. Thank you for watching this video. We look forward to conversations following your viewing. 

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Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (20 posts)
  • Icon for: Emmanuel Nti-Asante

    Emmanuel Nti-Asante

    May 10, 2022 | 10:31 a.m.

    Excellent project

     
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    Tara ONeill
  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 03:47 p.m.

    Mahalo Emmanuel,

    Nice to "see" you in the space. I enjoyed our conversation at AERA and hope for more in the future. Hope you are well. 

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Facilitator
    Co-Director
    May 10, 2022 | 11:22 a.m.

    Hi, Dr. O'Neill, 

       Do you have particular questions or findings that you'd like Videohall attenders to think about?  Your program sounds exciting, and I hope the discussion will bring out more of how it works and what you're seeing!

     
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    Tara ONeill
  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 04:05 p.m.

    Aloha e Brian, 

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, I meant to get the post with questions up before viewing opened but tech issues had other plans for me :). The program (STEMS^2) is exciting and challenging both for the instructors and the students. I look forward to the discussion that comes from this space.

    STEMS^2 is a place and culture-based educational construct that has been developed over the last several years with a team of community partners, educators, and cultural practitioners in Hawai‘i. The journey to where we are now has been many generations long but is also just beginning. We have grown from a 20-person project designing STEM curriculum that connected the Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūle‘a to classrooms across Hawai‘i into a Master's program that works with over 200 transformative formal and informal educators across the globe examining and redefining what counts as STEM and whose knowledge matters. 

    Over the years I have learned that the master's program and the STEMS^2 construct live in a reciprocal relationship. The master's program was designed grounded in the STEMS^2 construct and through engaging with and studying the master's program, I have been able to continue to learn about and more clearly articulate the STEMS^2 construct. Having spent the last 7 years developing a more nuanced understanding of the STEMS^2 construct the research focus is now shifting to understanding the impact of engaging in education through a STEMS^2 lens. Specific to this video we wanted to highlight the range of impact on participants in the master's program. The master's program is a 13-month immersive experience that begins with a 3-week experiential learning segment in Hawai‘i. This 3-week experience is followed by Fall and Spring semester online sessions that focus on deconstructing and reconsructing the first summer experience and building application to participants' specific teaching and learning spaces. The program ends with a second summer 3-week experience learning experience where the outgoing cohort serves as mentors to the incoming cohort. 

    As we continue to grow, we are always learning and hopeful to expand our network.  

    • We would love to discuss any feedback, question or ideas you have about our work and are particularly excited about ideas for new partnerships.  
    • Are there projects or people (including yourself) you think we should be in communication with?

    For those who would like to engage with the construct beyond the master's program, we invite you to join us for the 4th annual STEMS^2 symposium which will take place both online and in person. 

    Mahalo,

    Tara

     

     
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    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: Deena Gould

    Deena Gould

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2022 | 05:21 p.m.

    Hello Tara,  I loved hearing from your teachers about the ways they are using what they learned from STEM^2 in their classrooms. It is clear your program has positive, powerful, and lasting impact on the ways students connect with STEM, their communities, and their sense of place!  

    Per your questions: What kinds of new partnerships are you thinking about?  What kinds of extensions or  expansions of STEM^2 do you imagine? 

  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2022 | 06:38 p.m.

    Aloha e Deena,

    Thank you for taking the time to watch our video and comment. In processing an answer to your question I learned a little bit about the work you do at the Center for Science and the Imagination (great title for a center by the way).  I wonder if you might be interested and planning a time to chat a little bit more about the work of your center and the spaces of overlap with STEMS^2? My email is toneill@hawaii.edu

    In terms of how I see STEMS^2 expanding, our current first step is launching the STEMS^2 Research Consortium (still working on the name) to engage in a more community-driven investigation of the impact of STEMS^2 over the past 7 years. We have also recently been requested to offer PD to teachers in Hawaii, on the continent and internationally. We are working to figure out what a meaningful PD structure might look like and are finding the answer is very context-specific. There is also the continual work of growing the network and communication among those in the network, connecting with other networks so that transformative educators have regular avenues of support as they engage in this difficult work. I see STEMS^2 as a he‘e (octopus) with many arms. It has taken us 7 years to grow and learn this first arm and now we are in the beginning stages of nurturing the growth of future arms. I would be more than happy to talk through ideas with you if you are interested. 

     
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    Deena Gould
  • Icon for: Billy Spitzer

    Billy Spitzer

    Facilitator
    Executive Director
    May 10, 2022 | 12:45 p.m.

    Tara,

    Thank you for sharing about this project, it looks really interesting. I was particularly interested in how you are bringing together a Western STEM perspective with a Hawaiian cultural perspective. I was curious about how these perspectives are in tension with each other, and how they reinforce each other. Is this part of your research?

    Thanks,
    Billy

     
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    Tara ONeill
  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 04:22 p.m.

    Aloha e Billy,

    Thank you for viewing our video and for your question. In answer to your question yes, the exploration of both the tensions and spaces of possibility between Western STEM perspectives and Native Hawaiian (and other indigenous and non-indigenous) perspectives is part of this work. In general, we are finding that problems such as climate change and community sustainability require engaging multiple ways of knowing for our planet to thrive and us as a species to continue to exist. While there are considerable tensions between multiple ways of knowing we have found it is important to engage with these tensions, sit in them and try to see the spaces of conflict from multiple perspectives. In this, we tend to find that tensions are not about knowledge but about power and respect. The tensions largely arise when one knowledge form (often Western science but not always) dismisses, silences, or co-opts other knowledge forms. Two of the five pillars that guide this work are the concept of A‘o (reciprocal teaching and learning) and makawalu (the ability to deconstruct and reconstruct a word, a moment or a problem from multiple angles and perspectives). The result so far has been a powerful, inspiring, at times painful, and often challenging experience of working with over 200 transformative formal and informal educators across the globe examining and redefining what counts as STEM and whose knowledge matters. 

     
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    Billy Spitzer
    Deena Gould
    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
  • May 11, 2022 | 09:30 a.m.

    I love this! In our research with Native students and professionals, we have encountered many who want to bring together Native science and western science, So far, they have been figuring it out by themselves, with the difficulties that brings, like feeling isolated and misunderstood. I wish programs like yours were available across the country! 

    Are there publications that have resulted from this work that you could share with us? I would love to read more about the things you've learned with this project. 

    Thank you for the work you're doing! So needed! 

     
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    Deena Gould
  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2022 | 06:22 p.m.

    Aloha e Nuria,

    Thank you for your comment and for watching our video. We are working on ideas for expansion beyond the mastersʻ. Perhaps PD partnerships with school districts or building long-term school collaborations. Not set plans yet but ideas in development. 

    As of publications, we have a number of conference presentations and are just starting to produce publications. I am happy to send you two pending publications when they come out (one book chapter and one journal articles). In the meantime, here is the link to research products related to this work so far, shared on our website. We also have a conference proceeding from AERA this year though I am not sure AERA has posted this link yet. Here is the link to the session. The paper is posted under the same name. 

     
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    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Facilitator
    Director of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility
    May 10, 2022 | 02:57 p.m.

    Dr. O' Neil,

    I enjoyed learning about this masters program! Do you often encounter program applicants that don't identify as STEM professionals but have a change in self perception as a result of the program? Is building this identity an intentional part of the learning journey?

    Thanks!

    Beatriz

     
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    Tara ONeill
  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 04:43 p.m.

    Aloha e Beatiz,

    Thank you for viewing our video and for your comment. One of the aspects of this work that has been the most fun is the diversity of participants. We have found that STEMS^2 as a construct and then as a master's program provides participants multiple points of entry into engaging in and reshaping conceptions of STEM. Some people are drawn to the STEMS^2 master's program because they strongly identify with STEM as a whole or just science or math or technology. Others find their connection to STEMS^2 through social science and/or the idea of sense of place. The short answer to your question is, yes we encounter several participants in every cohort who do not identify as STEM professionals but over the course of the program have a change in self-perception. We also have several participants who start the program with a strong identity related to STEM or an individual STEM field that developed an expanded view of what knowledge counts as STEM and develop identities related to the social sciences (i.e, history, language, cultural studies) that powerfully impact how they engage in STEM education and advocacy in their communities.

    The STEMS^2 construct and master's program integrate multiple ways of knowing and content knowledge by centering our interdisciplinary work in the exploration of sense of place. As a result, exploration and evolution of personal and professional identities in relation to STEM and beyond is an intentionally foundational part of the learning journey.

    Thank you so much for this question. I really enjoyed processing how to answer :)

    Tara  

     
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    Beatriz Canas
    Billy Spitzer
    Deena Gould
  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 03:46 p.m.

    Aloha mai kākou and thank you for taking a moment to view our video!

     STEMS^2 is a place and culture based educational construct that has been developed over the last several years with a team of community partners, educators and cultural practitioners in Hawai‘i. The journey to where we are now has been many generations long but is also just beginning. We have grown from a 20-person project designing STEM curriculum that connected the Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūle‘a to classrooms across Hawai‘i into a Master's program that works with over 200 transformative formal and informal educators across the globe examining and redefining what counts as STEM and whose knowledge matters. 

    As we continue to grow, we are always learning and hopeful to expand our network.  

    • We would love to discuss any feedback, question or ideas you have about our work and are particularly excited about ideas for new partnerships.  
    • Are there projects or people (including yourself) you think we should be in communication with?

    Mahalo nui loa for viewing our video and we look forward to discussing ideas!  

  • Icon for: Rita Hagevik

    Rita Hagevik

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 05:34 p.m.

    Yes so great - science is all about looking at things from many perspective. Scientist are skeptics and they look for ways to apply many disciplines to solve problems. The more voices the better. All teachers need to look at science like this for sure. How do you teach the teachers to do this exactly? What do they do in the program? Do the teachers learn about themselves and their own culture?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Deena Gould
  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2022 | 05:47 p.m.

    Aloha Rita,

    Thank you for taking the time to watch our video and comment. I have been processing for the last couple of days how to answer your questions. My first answer is that if you are interested I would be happy to plan a time to talk with you in detail about our process. My email is toneill@hawaii.edu if you are interested in planning a time to talk.

    The short version of my answers to how we get teachers to makawalu (see from multiple lenses) is by starting the program with immersive experiential learning journeys that connect them with people and places around Hawai‘i. Our goal is to have students feel the multiple ways of knowing by engaging in a range of experiences and then we spend the Fall and Spring semester deconstructing and reconstructing these experiences so students build connections to learning and application in their own teaching and learning spaces. Throughout the program, teachers are asked to reflect on their experience, their processing or their experience (content and emotion) in a variety of ways. We also have assignments/activities where teachers are directly guided to explore their sense of place by the exploration of their multiple genealogies. 

    Please feel free to visit the STEMS^2 website for a bit more context. I am also happy to plan a time to chat if you would like more details. Mahalo again for your interest in and support of our work. 

  • Small default profile

    Peter Leong

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2022 | 09:40 a.m.

    Congratulations Tara! Excellent, impactful project! 

  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2022 | 05:48 p.m.

    Aww, thank Peter. Thanks for being part of making the work real in the world ;)

  • Icon for: Maria (Mia) Ong

    Maria (Mia) Ong

    Researcher
    May 12, 2022 | 05:29 p.m.

    Terrific video about a meaningful program. I especially admire the attention to multiple ways of understanding and place-based learning. Do you see evidence that practitioners not based in Hawaii can transfer understandings about place-based learning to their own contexts?

     
    1
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    Deena Gould
  • Icon for: Tara ONeill

    Tara ONeill

    Lead Presenter
    Professor
    May 14, 2022 | 06:06 p.m.

    Aloha e Maria,

    Thank you for watching our video and taking the time to comment. In answer to your question, yes, we do see non-Hawaii based participants being able to transfer understanding about place-based learning into their own context. Starting with Cohort 3 there have had at least two participants who are not from Hawaii and do not live in Hawaii. They come to Hawaii for the required summer learning experiences and then return to their homes from the Fall and Spring online coursework. What we have learned over the past serval years is that it often takes people learning about another place and culture to realize how little they know about their own place and culture. Following the summer learning experiences, those not based in Hawaii tend to return to their homes motivated to learn more about their place and the cultures of their place. That is their first step in engaging in place-based teaching, to back up and learn. They learn from family, from students from community members, from parents, etc and generally by the Spring they start to test out applying some of that learning in place-based instruction. For example, during the summer we start each morning with E Ho Mai, an oli calling on ancestors and humbling ourselves to receive knowledge. A student from Arizona liked the idea of the practice and wanted to start her middle school class each day with a similar idea but E Ho Mai did not make sense for the cultural space the teacher was in. Instead, the teacher found a poem written in both English and Spanish that shared ideas similar to those in E Ho Mai. The teacher started her class each day by having the students take turns reading lines of the poem in English and Spanish. This is just one example. We have been fortunate to get to learn with and from participants in Tokyo, California, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Colorado. Our next step is to follow up with each of these participants years after their program completion as part of our longitudinal study of program impact. 

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Deena Gould
    Nuria Jaumot-Pascual
  • Icon for: Gerald Knezek

    Gerald Knezek

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2022 | 09:08 a.m.

    Greeting Tara and all,

    Great project! The discussion about the guiding principles [example: the concept of A‘o (reciprocal teaching and learning) and makawalu (the ability to deconstruct and reconstruct a word, a moment or a problem from multiple angles and perspectives).] .... is very rich and interesting, could you point us to a place for a fuller description?

    I am especially interested in how or whether this applies to the current Micronesian influx into Hawaii, as possible guiding principles for this Pacific Islander group, or as guiding principles for how Native Hawaiians and other might relate to other Pacific Islander groups.

    Thanks in advance for your guidance,

    Gerald Knezek (Univ. of N. Tx)  (For Context: MEd. UH Manoa '76, Phd '78; taught in Pohnpei summers 79-81, and 1993. Our center iittl.unt.edu has been helping some on the STEM Pre-Academy research for the past 9 years.) 

     

    RE: 

     

    May 10, 2022 | 04:22 p.m.

    Aloha e Billy,

    Thank you for viewing our video and for your question. In answer to your question yes, the exploration of both the tensions and spaces of possibility between Western STEM perspectives and Native Hawaiian (and other indigenous and non-indigenous) perspectives is part of this work. In general, we are finding that problems such as climate change and community sustainability require engaging multiple ways of knowing for our planet to thrive and us as a species to continue to exist. While there are considerable tensions between multiple ways of knowing we have found it is important to engage with these tensions, sit in them and try to see the spaces of conflict from multiple perspectives. In this, we tend to find that tensions are not about knowledge but about power and respect. The tensions largely arise when one knowledge form (often Western science but not always) dismisses, silences, or co-opts other knowledge forms. Two of the five pillars that guide this work are the concept of A‘o (reciprocal teaching and learning) and makawalu (the ability to deconstruct and reconstruct a word, a moment or a problem from multiple angles and perspectives). The result so far has been a powerful, inspiring, at times painful, and often challenging experience of working with over 200 transformative formal and informal educators across the globe examining and redefining what counts as STEM and whose knowledge matters. 

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