See how UT education student makes teaching science more culturally relevant

March 28, 2013 | Events, UToday, — Education, Health Science and Human Service
By Samantha Watson

When people think of science classrooms, they don’t tend to think about sociological theory and multicultural education — but a course at The University of Toledo does.

On Monday, April 1, from noon to 1 p.m. in Gillham Hall Room 3100-C, doctoral education student Nithya Doraiswamy will present her research on social foundations for science classroom praxis. The presentation is part of a research colloquium series that takes place every semester.

Doraiswamy and her adviser Dr. Lynne Hamer, associate professor of educational theory and social foundations of education, helped redesign a required Social Foundations of Education course for science classroom praxis. They also used input from Dr. Charlene Czerniak, professor of curriculum and instruction, who specializes in science education.

The course offered sociological theory and multicultural education frameworks in the context of science education and teacher leadership to create inclusive, equitable and culturally relevant teaching practices for science classrooms and professional development.

“This course was unique because it aimed to enhance and transform existing science classroom practices instead of just adding to them,” Doraiswamy said.

Along with Hamer, Doraiswamy taught the new course last summer through the LEADERS grant funded by the National Science Foundation. They plan to teach the course again this summer, with Doraiswamy using the action research process to reflect on the teaching and learning of the previous class for future improvements.

For more information about the presentation or the colloquium, contact Dr. Revathy Kumar, assistant professor of foundations of education, at

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