Embracing Aʻo: Designing, Teaching, and Learning through Place-based Critical Case Studies (HOT)




Students holding signs in protest of PCBs

Why would a state agency choose to dump 40,000 tons of toxin-laden soil in a small farming community in rural North Carolina? As we engage in The Birth of a Movement, a place-based critical case study, participants in this workshop will join Kim, a 7th grade student, and her science teacher as they seek answers to this question. Critical case studies offer students and teachers opportunities to learn together as they attempt to make sense of scientific phenomena entangled in stories often excluded from dominant narratives. Participants in this workshop will 1) experience a place-based critical case study exploring the event historians point to as the birth of the environmental justice movement, 2) reflect on that experience through varied lenses, 3) analyze the content and structure of a second critical case study investigating a forgotten epidemic rooted in exploitative labor practices, inequitable food systems, and rejection of indigenous knowledge, and 4) begin the process of designing a place-based critical case study through which teachers and students can explore the tangled webs of science and history in their own unique settings.

STEMS² Pillars: Aʻo, Makawalu, Moʻolelo, Sense of Place, Advocacy

To participate in this experience, you must register in advance. This workshop is offered in a “here or there” (HOT) format so you may choose to participate in person or online. Participation is limited to 12 people in person, and 12 people online. Space still available. Sign-up today!

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June 29th, 2023, 9:00am–11:45am HST

Location: Wist Hall Rm 130, UHM College of Education or Aʻo (Gather.Town)

  • user profile image
    Lenora Crabtree
    Cato College of Education, University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • user profile image
    Daniel M. Alston, Ph.D
    Cato College of Education, University of North Carolina Charlotte