Tinkering as an inclusive approach for building STEM identity and supporting students facing disadvantage or with low science capital: Considerations from a reflective practice experience with teachers

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Engaging with Tinkering is a highly stimulating and complex experience and invites rich reflections from museum practitioners and teachers. "Tinkering as an inclusive approach for building STEM identity and supporting students facing disadvantage or with low science capital” presents the reflective practice process and tools designed by the "Tinkering EU: Building Science Capital for All" project aiming to understand in more depth the potential impact of using a Tinkering approach with students facing disadvantage. Using tools specifically designed to help teachers observe their students taking part in Tinkering activities and then reflect on these observations in relation to their practice, we were able to gain insights into such potential impact.

This document summarises the impact of the project through the description of the work carried out over three years which brought together museum educators and teachers to develop their practice and explore how Tinkering pedagogy could be used to develop more engaging, inclusive and equitable STEM learning experiences for learners facing educational, social, cultural or economic disadvantage. 

The project activities were designed to enrich the practice of teachers working in schools with high numbers of students facing disadvantage and to increase their knowledge and understanding of Tinkering pedagogy, especially about how this could support inclusion in STEM learning at school. At the same time, the project designed and implemented a reflective practice process involving the participating schools, aiming to understand in more depth the potential impact of using a Tinkering approach with students facing disadvantage, who are likely to have relatively low levels of science capital. Using tools specifically designed to help teachers observe their students taking part in Tinkering activities and then reflect on these observations in relation to their practice, we were able to gain insights into such potential impact. Indeed, teachers told us that Tinkering pedagogy can foster a more inclusive approach to STEM learning for all students, and particularly those facing disadvantage in STEM learning with low levels of science capital. 

Coordinator:

National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci - Italy

Partners:
University of Cambridge – UK
NEMO Science Museum – The Netherlands
Science Gallery Dublin – Ireland
CosmoCaixa – Spain
Science Center Network – Austria
NOESIS – Greece

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