My Participation in the 2023 National Congress on Science Education in the United States as a Voting Delegate of Science Education for Students With Disabilities: Introduction and Information Sharing
Author: Ying-Ting Chiu
The 2023 National Congress on Science Education (NCSE) was held from June 26 to 29, 2023. It was a three-day online meeting conducted by the NCSE Planning Committee of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). The leaders from the NSTA chapters and associated groups in the United States and Canada came together to discuss issues and generate recommendations to be brought forth to NSTA and the science education community.
The attendees included the 2023 NCSE Planning Committee members, several NSTA staff, and delegates and alternates from NSTA’s chapters and associated groups. This year, there were 37 delegates who could vote on the generated recommendations. After the three-day meeting, the voting was conducted, and then, the approved recommendations were brought forth to NSTA. I participated in the meeting throughout those three days as a voting delegate of Science Education for Students with Disabilities, one of NSTA’s associated groups.
The central focus of this year’s meeting was DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). On the agenda, the headline was Ensuring Equitable Science Learning for ALL. There were four issue forums for the delegates and alternates to choose one to join and be part of throughout the meeting. These four issue forums were:
Vision of DEI Through Research-based, Learning First Knowledge and Practices
Creating a Nurturing and Inclusive Community of Educators
Advocating for Equitable, High-quality Science Education for All
Promoting Sustainable Business Practices
I joined Issue Forum 3 but still had the opportunity to communicate with the other three forums’ participants to exchange thoughts and ideas during the meeting.
It is worth mentioning that, overall, the invited speakers addressed race, particularly people of color, and talked about neurodiversity. I was glad to see disability being mentioned a few times, though briefly, during the meeting when my initiation was not present. In my opinion, besides race and neurodiversity, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, etc. should have been addressed and discussed. Nevertheless, the meeting was well-organized, went smoothly, and attained its goal. Everyone was clear, open-minded, respectful, and willing to listen and learn from each other. It was a welcoming meeting! I felt hopeful for the future of science education for students with disabilities, including blindness and low vision.
If you are interested in learning more about the 2023 NCSE meeting, this link houses the meeting materials for your information or reference: https://tinyurl.com/yjwafzmk
To learn more about NCSE and/or NSTA, please click the links below, especially the last one that displays NSTA’s disability resources:
National Science Teaching Association: https://www.nsta.org (Founded in 1944, the NSTA is an association of science teachers in the United States and is the largest organization of science teachers in the world.)
National Congress on Science Education: https://www.nsta.org/national-congress-science-education
Past National Congresses on Science Education - Minutes and Other Documents: https://www.nsta.org/past-national-congresses-science-education
State/Province Chapters & Associated Groups: https://www.nsta.org/about/chapters-associated-groups
Search NSTA - Disability: https://my.nsta.org/search?q=disability
Published in July 2023