THE WADE INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION BELIEVES . . .
The Wade Institute for Science Education believes that all students deserve high quality science instruction. We acknowledge the vast social and structural inequities that create barriers to equitable opportunities in education and career development, and we recognize that students and teachers bring many identities that impact their access to science learning. In accordance with our mission, we seek to provide high quality professional learning experiences for all Science, Technology, and Engineering educators to promote and enable their efforts to create equitable, inclusive, and accessible STEM learning experiences for their students in Massachusetts and across the nation.
The Wade Institute was founded in part on a desire to promote diverse perspectives on who belongs in science education, now termed STEM. We began with a particular focus on promoting representation for women and girls in science and engineering, and as our organization has grown and evolved, we have recognized our need to continue challenging and expanding our own understanding of what it means to be an equitable and inclusive organization. We are committed to creating a professional culture of learning in which a diversity of voices, values, and lived experiences are respected and celebrated.
As we seek to make changes to realize our commitment to these values more broadly, we have identified 5 primary areas of focus for our current work:
- We are working to broaden representation of STEM experts in our programs. We seek to include scientists, engineers, and other STEM experts with diverse racial, cultural, and gender identities. We want to connect teachers to experts from a wide range of backgrounds and with a wide range of identities so that we can help them shift perceptions of what a scientist, engineer, or STEM technician looks like and who is welcome in STEM fields.
- We strive to equip K-12 teachers and informal educators with resources and instructional practices aimed at supporting them in creating equitable and inclusive learning experiences in their classrooms, programs, and institutions and that support their growth in understanding the diverse identities, needs, assets, and challenges of their learners. We seek to model Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) practices in our programs so teachers and informal educators have the opportunity to experience equitable and inclusive learning experiences themselves.
- We are continually working to broaden the audience of educators participating in our programs and the students with whom they work. We will continually reach out to teachers who represent diverse racial, cultural, and gender identities and who teach students who represent these as well. All students should understand that STEM careers or college pathways are accessible to them.
- We actively seek out Professional Learning opportunities related to DEAI for our staff to ensure that we are staying abreast of developments in the conversation at large and to continue growing our own knowledge of and skills in implementing equitable instructional practices.
- We are continually seeking partners, board and committee members, and staff who hold diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity as essential values. As we continually expand and diversify our organization internally we are building DEAI resources and practices that will be reflected in our programs and services.
We are committed to listening and learning as we continue this journey to work with our community of partners, K-12 teachers, STEM professionals and school districts to create greater representation of diversity in STEM fields and promote equitable and inclusive participation in STEM learning.