Building a better science learning experience:Fostering creativity, communication, collaboration and more-than-human mindset through slow education

Year: 2021

Author: Milne, Catherine, Scantlebury, Kathryn

Type of paper: Individual Paper

Current science education is illustrative of a "fast education", with no time to slow down and experience the world or ask questions that might concern the wider world. Curricula is framed by well-defined learning goals being achieved in the fastest possible way and the use of rubrics set by others to evaluate the learning of these goals to ensure there is a sameness in the evidence of learning. However, Isabel Stengers (2018) argued that science should slow down, and scientists should become engaged with the public through matters of concern while problematizing ‘matters of fact’.  In the current climate many learnersdo not see a place for themselves in any science. This raises concern for the future of a discipline that is working at the forefront of global challenges including climate change, pandemics and environmental indicators (e.g. water quality), with learners will be making decisions in the future around these issues. Some science educators are asking if fast education the best way to support learners for the messy complications of the 21stcentury highly connected world. In this presentation, we argue there needs to be a greater emphasis given to slow education that incorporates experiential learning, with space and time for creativity, communication, collaboration and a more-than-human mindset to be supported and fostered. In this presentation we will use a feminist materialist approach (Barad, 2007) to inform the development of slow education as a strategy for schooling at all levels of education.  Through wicked problems (for example, using Flint, USA water quality as a case study) we will show how thought collectives can restructure who is perceived as having science knowledge and expertise, how learners develop into activists through matters of concern and matters of fact.   We will show how developing curriculum from a feminist materialist slow education position means engaging with the world in ways that allow learners to engage with each other, the material world in ways through identifying problems of practice, creating solutions, and solving problems. ReferencesBarad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. London: Duke University Press.Stengers, I. (2018). Another science is possible: A manifesto for slow science. Cambridge: Polity Press.