Social Justice Driven STEM Learning (STEMJ): A Curricular Framework for Teaching STEM in a Social Justice Driven, Urban, College Access Program


This article presents the curricular framework for a social justice driven STEM curriculum (i.e., STEMJ) within an out-of-school time program for Boston Public high school students (i.e., College Bound) at Boston College. Starting with a discussion of the authors’ ideological positionality within critical social justice discourses, the authors share how Bronfenbrenner’s (1994) General Ecological Model provides a conceptual framework for operationalizing social justice inquiry with and through STEM. Positioning this curriculum within the College Bound program’s overall design gives readers a sense of how the program’s College and Career, Identity and Society, and STEMJ curriculums work in tandem to support the programs desired outcomes of students’ increased critical consciousness and college matriculation. Lessons learned and future directions are also included in acknowledgement of the necessity of ongoing reflection and adaptation to fulfill the program’s ambitious goals.


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Paul E. Madden
Catherine Wong
Anne C. Vera Cruz
Chad D. Olle
Mike Barnet
Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum
Cultural Relevance, Equity, and Diversity
STEM Content and Standards
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Additional Disciplines
Bioscience - general
Computer Science - general
Engineering - general
Environmental Science - general
Mathematics - general