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Chemistry for Social Justice


In the course, participants will:

  • explore what social justice means and what it looks like in the context of chemistry teaching
  • examine why social justice is not often addressed in chemistry classrooms
  • develop and enact a phenomenon-based lesson sequence with social justice framing
  • improve the lesson sequence through the Lesson Study model
  • develop a community of practice with like-minded teachers 

Course Description: 

The course will meet for two days in the summer to introduce theoretical frameworks and practical tools for developing science instructional sequences around social justice issues.  Teams of 5-6 participants will be formed (around geography and interest) to design an instructional sequence to enact in their classrooms with the support of a PD facilitator.  Teams will begin planning their instruction in the summer session and continue over virtual platforms that will be introduced in the PD.  Participants will enact the instructional sequence in their contexts and meet twice during the course of the school year to revise the sequence through the Lesson Study model.  The full group will meet once in the spring to share their lesson sequence and reflect on the revision process and their experience in the classroom. 

Keywords: chemistry, social justice, lesson study, phenomena, teams, instructional sequence, instructional design


  • Participants from middle and high school contexts are welcome.
  • Participants should be ready to implement an instructional sequence in their classroom.  
  • Participants should be prepared to work with their team through the school year.

Dates & Times

Summer Workshop

  • Aug 4 & 5, 2017
  • 9:00a - 4:30p

School Year Component

  • Two meetings (times vary)
  • Spring whole group meeting
Format of Course: 2-day summer workshop at Stanford University, 2 school-year virtual or in-person small group meetings, and 1 spring follow-up day at Stanford University

Cost: $70 per teacher

includes light breakfast and lunch

Credits: 2, $77 additional fee to obtain credit

Certificates of completion provided to all participants upon completion of the entire professional learning experience.

Status: Application opens May 15, 2017. Participants accepted on a rolling basis until June 30, 2017.
Course Facilitators: 

Sara Dozier is a Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford University where she studies how to create a window into student sense-making about natural phenomena. As a high school teacher, she sought to create authentic and equitable opportunities for her students to reignite their wonder and creativity as they explored the world though a scientific lens. While leading professional learning, she seeks to inspire and empower teachers of science to create learning experiences that are meaningful for their students and context. Sara earned a B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.S. in Biological Science from the University of California, San Diego. In addition to teaching high school, she worked as a biological researcher and as a science coordinator at the Alameda County Office of Education.

Emily Reigh is a Ph.D. student in Science Education.  She studies discourse in elementary science classrooms, with a particular focus on how students engage in the practice of argumentation.  She taught high school chemistry (general, AP and IB) for ten years in the United States and Egypt.  At Stanford, she has coached teachers, worked in planning for the ChemEx^2 program and developed assessment items for the NGSS.  Emily has earned a B.S in Chemistry and a B.A. in Letters from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the American University in Cairo.

Kathryn Ribay is a Ph.D. student in Science Education at Stanford University. She studies how to engage science teachers in thinking about equity in their work and incorporating culturally relevant teaching into the science classroom. Before coming to Stanford, Kathryn spent nine years teaching chemistry, physics, integrated science, and environmental biology at public high schools in New Jersey. Kathryn earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard University, an Ed.M. in School and Instructional Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an M.S. in Chemistry from Rutgers-Camden University.