The goals of this project are to address the STEM education needs of the local community and to support teachers in developing an understanding of community-based, culturally relevant STEM teaching, potentially impacting teacher identity and retention.

This project explores the following:

  • How participation in CPAR (Critical Participatory Action Research) impacts the STEM identity of community members (Phases 1 & 2)
  • How workshops developed by the research collective impact teachers’ perceptions of students’ and communities’ funds of knowledge/cultural wealth (Phase 1)
  • How viewing a community-created video featuring student and parent perspectives impacts teachers’ perceptions of their community, community involvement, and their own teaching in the classroom (Phase 2)


Study Design

Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this study are based on principles of CPAR, with Phase 2 following a mixed-methods format.


Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this study are based on principles of CPAR, with Phase 2 following a mixed-methods format.

Data Collection

A Qualtrics survey, which contained a mix of Likert-scale and open-ended questions, was the primary data source. Participants completed the survey after viewing the community-created video featuring parent and student perspectives on science education.


Likert Scale


A majority of participants responded positively to the video, preferring neither parent nor student perspective over the other, but valuing both and referring to both as they answered survey questions. Participants overall reported a) an increased desire to implement more hands-on learning in the classroom and b) to become more involved in their community. Another noteworthy observation regards the “dispelling myths about the Black community” question — interestingly, some participants expressed confusion regarding this question, answering with language that inferred that: a) they did not have or consider these prejudices or b) believed that race did not matter in the subject at hand, indicating defensiveness at the notion. Despite this, many participants acknowledged that these myths and biases exist, and followed this acknowledgement with a desire to help Black families thrive by striving to better serve their community.


Pre-Service Teachers

In the context of teacher education, engaging pre-service teachers (PST) in conversations about community and external perspectives (i.e., parent/student) can help them better understand the importance of engaging with their community, as well as more thoroughly and critically examine and welcome community input in the classroom. This is critical to those just entering the profession.

In-Service Teachers

IFor in-service teachers (IST), regularly getting the chance to be exposed to community perspectives, especially from parents, can allow them to consistently evaluate their practices as a teacher and ensure their students are getting the best possible learning experience.

Fellow Reflections

Through this project, I have learned about the importance of highlighting parent perspectives and applying them to teacher-parent relationships to support student learning.

MaryKate Enciso

NITEP Research Fellow

In this project, I got the valuable opportunity to learn how to construct a survey for research purposes. Particularly, what was most impactful was learning how to design effective qualitative questions that are created to answer only specific questions pertaining to the study, and to avoid creating questions that elicit “nice/interesting to have” rather than “necessary for the study” data.

Saff bintali

NIEPRR Research Fellow

Research Team

MaryKate Enciso

NITEP Research Fellow

Safiyya “Saff” Bintali

NIEPRR Research Fellow

Katherine “Katie” Wade-Jaimes

Principal Investigator

This research was made possible thanks to generous funding from the Nevada Department of Education to support the Nevada Institute on Educator Preparation (NITEP), the Nevada Institute on Educator Preparation, Retention, & Research (NIEPRR), and the Nevada Educator Preparation Institute & Collective (NV-EPIC).