Abstract: In the last year, conversations about “anti-racism” have gone mainstream, due in large part to sustained activism over the past decade in support of Black Lives. This has compelled institutions across a variety of domains to question how race and racism matter in their specific fields. In this talk, I focus on processes of racialization in STEM education, which is typically perceived to be innocent, race-neutral territory. Drawing on my work as a STEM education researcher, teacher, and teacher educator, I begin by offering a theoretical frame for understanding how White supremacy interfaces with STEM, especially at the level of everyday moments of teaching and learning. Next, I present a tool called EQUIP (https://www.equip.ninja/), which was designed to amplify equity in classrooms by generating quantitative analytics on student participation patterns. Finally, I close with an invitation to consider the limits of classroom-level reform as a means toward racial justice for BIPOC communities.
Bio: Niral Shah is an assistant professor of the Learning Sciences & Human Development, and is director of the Race, Theory, & Design Lab. His research concerns how people learn racism and anti-racism. Shah’s prior work has focused on race and racism in STEM education, specifically how racial narratives about STEM ability affect students’ identities and participation in classrooms. He is also a co-developer of the EQUIP classroom observation tool (www.equip.ninja), which supports teachers and educational leaders to identify and mitigate implicit bias in classrooms.