Led by Dr. Monae Verbeke and Dr. John Falk from the Institute for Learning Innovation this project, Reconceptualizing STEM+C Literacy through a Free-Choice Learning Lens, aims to create an innovative, multidimensional, digital STEM+C literacy tool.
We will generate a new STEM+C literacy framework that will be relevant to all formal and informal STEM+C education institutions. Rather than a single, rigid, essentially dichotomous determination STEM+C literacy – we seek to develop a tool that organizes individuals along a series of continua of literacy, one that a user can continually slide upon. A tool that most importantly creates cultural value around STEM+C, providing users with feedback about their current standing within each domain of STEM+C and recommendations for how to improve their standing. The tool will also raise new possibilities for evaluating public STEM+C opinion in ways that promise to increase public engagement in STEM+C beyond what is currently possible.
The development of this new framework could transform how the STEM+C research and STEM+C education fields think about and measure STEM+C literacy. Rather than casting the public as either literate or not, this new framework would capture the spectrum of knowledge, beliefs and attributes that the STEM+C community identifies as significant contributors to STEM+C literacy; fully embracing for the first time the true complexity and nuance of STEM+C literacy.
Despite the crucial importance of STEM+C literacy as a citizenship tool, there is currently not a literacy measurement tool exists which fully captures the breadth of current conceptualizations of STEM+C, nor one that is capable of facilitating the development of STEM+C usefulness in an individual’s daily life. By creating a tool promoting self-competition and tracking of individual performance and growth over time, the project is set to transform how the STEM+C research and STEM+C education fields think about and measure STEM+C literacy, and ultimately the lifelong participation in STEM+C interests of its users.
The project is set to run for the next two years and is supported by a STEM+C Grant from the National Science Foundation and will involve the Dr Verbeke and Dr Falk collaborating with colleagues across the fields of STEM+C.
If interested in finding out more about the research and/or potentially participating in the project, please email Dr. Verbeke at firstname.lastname@example.org