Dr. Edna Tan (TEHE) Awarded “Best Paper Published in the Journal of the Learning Sciences” for 2019, Plus Grant from NSF

Posted on June 04, 2020

Edna Tan TEHE

Congratulations to Dr. Edna Tan (TEHE) and Dr. Angela Calabrese Barton, whose paper “Designing for rightful presence in STEM: The role of making present practices” was selected for the Best Paper Published in the Journal of the Learning Sciences Award for 2019.

Their paper was awarded by an external panel of reviewers who are leaders in the field of the learning sciences. “We wish to congratulate you on this fine achievement. Your paper represents the Journal’s commitment to outstanding scholarship in the learning sciences and more generally in educational research,” said Susan Yoon and Jan van Aalst, Co-editors in Chief.

Dr. Tan is professor of science education in the UNCG SOE Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education. Her research is focused on long-term community-engaged partnerships with teachers and youth of color on justice-oriented STEM engagement in the community.

Abstract of the winning paper:

Opportunities to learn in consequential ways are shaped by the historicized injustices students encounter in relation to participation in STEM and schooling. In this article, it is argued that the construct of rightful presence, and the coconstructed “making present” practices that give rise to moments of rightful presence, is 1 way to consider how to make sense of the historicized and relational nature of consequential learning. Drawing on theories of consequential learning and critical justice, we analyze ethnographic data from 3 urban middle school classrooms in 2 states during a STEM unit focused on engineering for sustainable communities. Findings describe 2 making present practices students enacted as they engaged in engineering design: modeling ethnographic data and reperforming injustices toward solidarity building. We discuss how these practices supported moments of rightful presence in the STEM classrooms by inscribing youths’ marginalizing school experiences as a part of classroom science discourse and co-opting school science tasks as tools for exposing, critiquing, and addressing these unjust experiences. That which was silent and previously concealed from school authority figures gained a rightful place through the voices and scientific actions of the youth and their allies.

UPDATE 7/9/20: Dr. Edna Tan, along with Ravit Golan Duncan (Principal Investigator) and Frieda Reichsman (Co-Principal Investigator), was awarded a continuing grant from the National Science Foundation for their work, titled: Fostering deep learning, identity, and agency: Minoritized students learning biology in personal and community-relevant contexts.

Learn more about Dr. Tan’s work in the UNCG SOE here.