Introducing the blog
Welcome to our new project blog.
This project is rooted in the significant under-achievement in STEM subjects across the world. A significant contribution to this underachievement is due to communication gaps between STEM specialists and STEM learners and resultant affective barriers developing (Msimanga & Erduran, 2017; Lee & Johnston-Wilder, 2013).
We propose an intervention based on 5 new tools for teachers and learners. Three of these tools are being used already in the UK and one in South Africa: the growth zone model (Lugalia et al., 2013), the relaxation response (Benson, 2000), explore-options-actions (Egan 2013), the 4 styles of classroom communication grid (Scott and Mortimer, 2003). The fifth is rooted in our work and built on Bruner's work and his "ladder of accessibility" (enactive-iconic-symbolic), so well-known in "Singapore maths" (Bruner 1966).
We build on the idea of academic safeguarding and preventing exclusion from STEM subjects (Findon & Johnston-Wilder, 2017); Sue Johnston-Wilder, with Clare Lee, has developed the Growth Zone Model and related strategies to address anxiety and other affective barriers to learning STEM subjects; Audrey Msimanga has developed a resonant framework for addressing communication barriers to learning STEM subjects.
The use of the tools will be evaluated in Gauteng province, South Africa, in 3 districts.