Supporting the Implementation of NGSS: NARST Researchers' Perspectives on Equity

Alejandro José Gallard Martínez
Alejandro José Gallard Martínez Alejandro José Gallard Martínez is a Professor and Goizueta Distinguished Chair at Georgia Southern University in the Teaching and Learning Department. Dr. Gallard is also the Director of the Georgia Center for Education Renewal. The platform for his research is to explore equity and social justice in education in general and in science education specifically. Through the lens of complexity his foci are to understand teaching and learning science and education policy in relation to differences associated with ethnicity, gender, race and SES. His frameworks include global perspectives on differences, otherness, polyphony of voices and meaning making that reflects categories used to situate people in social life. Dr. Gallard develops collaborative initiatives to conduct research and funded projects that support improvement in both K-12 and higher education settings, with direct ties to Latin@ learners. He works with the student body and staff at Georgia Southern on effective strategies for recruiting and retaining Hispanic and Latin@ students at the university. This includes collaborative projects that address the need for increasing numbers of Hispanic and Latin@ students entering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Finally, Dr. Gallard is also past president of the Southeastern Association for Science Teacher Education.

Felicia Moore Mensah
Felicia Moore Mensah Ph.D. Felicia Moore Mensah, is an associate professor of science education and the the program coordinator of the science education program at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. Since receiving her doctoral degree, Dr. Mensah has published extensively in the area of science teacher education. Her research interests are in diversity and social justice education with an emphasis on improving science experiences and for PreK-16 teachers and students in urban classrooms. She uses culturally relevant/responsive pedagogy in the preparation of science teachers, and also in teacher development, assessment, and curriculum. This approach allows students who are traditionally marginalized in science learning, and their teachers in many instances, to view science as accessible, fun, and empowering. She conducts professional development workshops and institutes with elementary, middle, and high school science teachers as well as provide outreach activities for schools, such as hosting elementary students to attend science courses at the university. She also has an exceptional record in advising and developing early scholars. Dr. Mensah has received a number of awards, honors and acknowlegements, such as the Early Career Award, Division K, from the American Educational Research Association (2012), the Race, Culture, and Diversity Research Grant from Teachers College, and four Provost Investment Grants to support her research. Dr. Mensah also served three years as an executive board member of the NARST(2011-2014).

Wesley Pitts
Wesley Pitts Wesley Pitts is an associate professor of science education in the Department of Middle and High School Education (MHSE) in the School of Education at Lehman College, CUNY. He currently serves a deputy chair of MHSE. Dr. Pitts also holds a joint appointment in the Ph.D. Program in the Urban Education Department, with a specialization in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research uses frameworks from cultural sociology to investigate how encounters in urban secondary and post-secondary science classrooms and science teacher preparation programs create success in science education. His research interest also includes investigating the implementation of electronic portfolios in science teacher education programs. Dr. Pitts has collaborated on numerous projects to improve teacher preparation in secondary science education, including the federally funded Math and Science Partnership Program at the University of Pennsylvania in the Chemistry Department. He is a recipient of the Faculty Recognition Award in Research at Lehman College School of Education. Prior to his career as a university level urban science educator-researcher, Dr. Pitts taught in urban high school pre-college science programs in New York City.

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Underwritten by the The National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST)