Science, math and education research developments explored at NARST sessions
DURING one of the highest points of Dr Patrice J Pinder’s research career, this past April 27 and May 3, Dr Pinder teamed up with one of the world’s most prestigious STEM education organisations, NARST (National Association for Research in Science Teaching) to lead virtual presentations around the themes, ‘Exploring an interdisciplinary model of black (im)migrant schooling to explain differences in black students’ STEM performance’, and ‘East meets west: A ‘real talk’ on the pros and cons of using standardised tests as assessment tools of students in mathematics and science — globally, what appears to work and not work?’.
The audience was drawn from around the world and consisted of academics; STEM education scientists; professors; curriculum experts; teachers; education policymakers; testing, evaluation, and measuring experts, among others.
Session one focused on the phenomenon of some (im)migrant students outperforming some native students. “Some (im)migrants from China, the Philippines, Africa, and the Caribbean are reportedly achieving higher test scores than their native peers. Even within the same race, achievement differences are being observed; for example, African immigrant students seem to be outperforming Afro-Caribbean immigrant students in the United Kingdom. What might account for the achievement success of one group of students over the other group, especially within the same racial grouping?”
Dr Pinder’s ‘Interdisciplinary model of (im)migrant schooling and learning’ is offering a comprehensive explanation to the observed differences in students’ performance. Her research builds upon the foundational work of the late Dr John Ogbu, a University of California at Berkeley professor.
The NARST session two provided a global snapshot of various standardised tests to see what appeared to be working and not working across countries. In looking at and examining students’ performances on the select standardised measures, Dr Pinder wanted to see if this type of testing was benefiting students worldwide from the region of Asia to Europe to North America to Central/South/Latin America and the Caribbean. Were students doing well on these exams? Which countries were the higher performers and which were the least? Specifically in respect to mathematics and science?
In evaluating students’ test scores on the global assessment measures and country-designed standardised tests the candid answers helped in informing others within the NARST community. This session provided a safe space for open discussions between the virtual attendees.
Dr Pinder is a 2022–2023 visiting research scientist to The University of the West Indies, Mona, and serves as an invited member of the Advisory Board of the UWI St Augustine’s Caribbean Curriculum. She is also a part of the NARST Artificial Intelligence, Diasporic Africa, Contemporary Methods, and Engineering Education Research groups.
For more information on these research sessions and/or to collaborate on future education programmes and projects, you may contact Dr Pinder directly at email@example.com.