For the Winter 2021 issue of this journal, we are delighted to feature a research article, a project report, and an extensive book review. These contributions reflect a variety of creative connections between science education and civic engagement.
Jackson Miner and Rona Robinson-Hill, both at Ball State University, examine the impact of integrating feminist pedagogies into secondary science education. Drawing on a rich interview with an African-American female scientist, who teaches a secondary education science course at a predominantly White institution, this research article explores how inclusionary feminist principles influenced the pedagogical development of pre-service teachers. The outcomes of the project included a commitment to representation, recognition and discussion of bias, and motivation for reconceptualizing lesson plans and teaching philosophy. The authors provide a valuable case study for using inclusive educational principles to broaden interest in science among students and teachers.
Carrie Buo and Rebecca Eagle-Malone, colleagues at the University of Akron, provide a project report on urban ecology as a strategy for engaging urban youth with environmental education. They describe a four-week after-school program that provided fifth-grade students with the opportunity to explore their local environment from an ecological perspective, Assessment of the project was based on student drawings of “nature,” which showed an increased focus on the biological realm and a reduction in depictions of humans, buildings, and vehicles. This project report demonstrates that introducing young children to urban ecology changes their perception of their environment.
The third contribution to this journal issue is a book review essay from one of us (Matthew A. Fisher, Saint Vincent College) that discusses how various authors are analyzing our current experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. Ranging from scientific principles to public policy, these books provide insights into the origin, spread, and impact of the novel coronavirus. A common theme in several of these books is the systemic failure to mount an adequate response to containing COVID-19, which has now caused more than 2 million deaths worldwide. The book review concludes with references to works of fiction and poetry, which provide a literary lens for processing the personal and societal toll of the pandemic.
We wish to thank all the authors for sharing their scholarly work with the readers of this journal.
Matt Fisher and Trace Jordan