The Sci-Ed Innovators Fellowship Program is a year long experience, designed to engage and support New York City middle and high-school science teachers who work in underserved schools. Through regular monthly workshops, dialogue with peers and mentors, and a critical examination of their practice, fellows learn to transform their students’ experience by applying and further developing the Democratic Science Teaching Framework, initially conceived by Professor Sreyashi Jhumki Basu. The Fellowship experience challenges participants to examine their teaching practices through the lens of the framework. For any given learning experience, Sci-Ed Innovators ask the following questions:
- Where in this learning experience is there room for student choice?
- Where in this learning experience can I enhance my students' voice and learn more about their ideas?
- How am I helping my students to build on their pre-existing funds of knowledge?
- In what ways can I personalize this learning experience for my students?
- How and when are my students investigating science in an authentic way, becoming subject matter experts who leverage their knowledge for small- and large-scale change?
Fellows who are selected for the program participate in a year-long community of practice with a mixture of first and second year participants. Twice over the course of the year, Fellows publish a 3-5 minute digital story demonstrating a new democratic science teaching practice. In May of each year, Fellows and a group of their students participate in the annual Sci-Ed Innovators Expo and Symposium.