Wednesday 23 November 2022. 9:15am - 10:15am

Lydia E Carol-Ann Burke, Ananya Mukherjee, Sarah Lu

Region-specific perspective on equitable STEM education

Contact Author: Lydia E Carol-Ann Burke (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, University of Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1V6, Canada


The STEM acronym has been inducted into the Canadian educational lexicon as a result of its widespread use by our geographic neighbors in the United States. Much of the discourse associated with STEM has centered on the value of STEM education as a mechanism for promoting economic development and personal and national competitiveness. Despite the strength of voices describing STEM education as an economic imperative, there are also many who view STEM as a potential leveler, a means by which equity can be promoted in a rather dated education system.

This study examines the discourse of a new provincial curriculum (released in 2022) alongside the discourses promoted by public school boards and equity-focused STEM education organizations in the region. The aim is to present ways in which the interests of the range of formal and informal STEM education providers can be reconciled so that STEM education can, indeed, be used as a mechanism of inclusion in a way that is responsive to this localized context.

Xianqing Bao, Wanqin Tang

STEM exhibition via parent embodied gestures and language in a science museum

Contact Author: Xianqing Bao (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Department of Educational Technology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China


Museums provide a unique STEM learning environment for children. But how to facilitate young children to understand science and engineering when manipulating STEM-related exhibits is a question. Many museum learning researchers focus on the effects of family conversations and mediated artifacts. Embodied cognition advocates the interaction among body, mind and environment and emphasis the role of the body in the cognitive processing of organisms (Shapiro & Stolz, 2019). Previous research showed that both learners' own embodied behaviors have an impact on their thinking and embodied cognition has the potential in understanding STEM content (Abeahamson & Lindgren, 2014; Sullivan, 2018).

This study aims to explore: (1) How can embodied cognition theory be used to design parental guidance strategies? (2) What are the effects of different parental guidance designed using embodied theory on children's learning of science? Therefore, the two parental guidance strategies are designed: (1) parents using embodied gestures to interact with children and (2) parents using embodied language to encourage children to express themselves through embodied gestures during the interaction.