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MSTA's Commitment to Action

Wednesday, June 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Angela Richardson
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MSTA's Commitment to Action

Supporting NSTA’s Statement on Social Justice and Science Education

The Executive Board of the Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA) supports and affirms the NSTA Statement on Social Justice and Science Education, and is committed to taking necessary actions suggested within. Reiterating the NSTA position, the MSTA Board believes that taking a stance against racism is not enough. We believe embracing diversity, equity, and respect is both a path to eradicate racism and essential to our ability to provide leadership for the improvement of science education throughout Michigan. We pledge support to the development of a plan that will allow these commitments to be manifested within our organization.

First, the MSTA Executive Board commits to continued, intentional learning with the goal of creating a more equitable organization and will conduct a thorough review of policies within our Strategic Plan. In his book “How To Be an Anti-Racist (2019),” Dr. Ibram X. Kendi states,There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups.” We recognize that doing this work begins with learning how to apply an equity lens to all aspects of the organization. 

Second, the MSTA Executive Board pledges to increase opportunities to amplify the histories, voices, and identities of science teachers of color and children of color all across Michigan. In their book Empowering Science and Mathematics Education in Urban Schools (2012) Angela Calabrese-Barton and Edna Tan write, “As an individual joins a community, he or she brings resources in the form of particular historical and cultural experiences, which by their activation can transform the discourses and practices of the community.” Data analyzed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Science Teachers’ Learning Report (2015), shows that 90% of the science teaching workforce is white. The Board acknowledges that representation matters and will work with each Committee Chair and Regional Director to ensure that diverse voices not only inform the organization, but also help transform and strengthen it.

Third, the MSTA Executive Board commits to providing teachers with access to a continuum of resources that support their development of classroom experiences that will sustain an anti-racist pedagogy. Two examples of such content are Scott Milam’s 2020 MSTA conference presentation “Anti-Racist Teaching Methods” and the MiSciChat podcast episode featuring Duha Fahmy’s ideas for Culturally Relevant Instruction. Given the additional challenges brought on by COVID-19, the Board will seek not only a continuum of experiences but extended-access formats to increase the availability of relevant content and the opportunity for members to engage in professional learning.

We believe that the MSTA, NSTA and other educational professional organizations have a role to play in eradicating racism in learning environments. The actions listed above are both a commitment and an invitation to our members and community partners to join us in this critical work. Please lend your support to our efforts. For more information, please contact the Board via info@msta-mich.org or 734-973-0433.

MSTA Executive Board

 


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