Dow Innovation Teacher Fellowship Design
Concern for a more sustainable society has become prominent throughout the world with younger populations leading the movement in demanding climate action. Exposure to sustainability education empowers students to recognize environmental injustices, how to cope with them, and how to organize to change the system. While younger populations are demanding action and understanding of sustainability topics, most of our current teaching workforce is not equipped to teach sustainability content due to a lack of exposure to the subject.
As a response to these needs, Dow Chemical developed the Dow Innovation Teacher Fellowship (DITF), which is implemented through the University of Michigan’s Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research. DITF supports educating teachers in the Saginaw-Bay area about sustainability education methods while providing professional development experience on how to integrate sustainability across school subjects to support the execution of interdisciplinary sustainability learning units in their classroom using project and place-based pedagogical methods.
Our research further supports these efforts by expanding the scope of informing teachers about these topics through a comprehensive narrative of experiences that DITF teachers face throughout the development, refinement, and implementation of their sustainability learning units. Our work takes a narrative research design approach by utilizing extensive qualitative interviews, classroom observations, and field experience to fully capture the participants and their experience throughout this work. The hope and goal of this research are for the combined narratives of DITF teachers to inform future educators, students, and alike as they work towards more influential forms of place-based sustainability education.
Julia Glassman, MS (BEC); Allyson Wiley MS (BEC), MA (Teaching and Learning)