The Holtz Center recently welcomed several new members, including Katie Kirchgasler, from the School of Education. Katie is a new Assistant Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department, where she also received her Ph.D.
Katie is a great fit with the Holtz Center, as her work draws on science & technology studies to examine how inherited techniques from the social and health sciences have contributed to generating different “kinds” of students who appear to require different types (and levels) of science education.
“I look at how dividing practices designed within colonial and segregated schooling persist today, potentially subverting well-intentioned efforts to make science education more equitable by responding to the “diverse needs” ascribed to marginalized communities.”, she shares. Her next project explores the paradoxes and dilemmas confronted by interdisciplinary research and reform projects that seek to simultaneously redress health disparities, achievement gaps, and STEM career disparities.
In earlier projects, Katie has explored racial disparities in high school coursework, unintended effects of data-driven reforms, and the marginalization of sociopolitical dimensions of science and sustainability in curriculum standards.
A former middle school teacher, who taught science in both bilingual and international settings, Katie is currently teaching courses in Curriculum & Instruction and Science Education at the graduate and undergraduate levels, specializing in approaches to examine the racialization, gendering, ableism, and colonially of schooling.
In her first year on the UW-Madison campus, Professor Kirchgasler became a member of the Holtz Center early on because “the vibrant discussions fostered by the Holtz Center brown bags and other events bring questions of power to the surface and allow for generative dialogue outside the boundaries of our disciplinary common sense”, she explains. Members of the Holtz Center are immediately connected to other Science and Technology Studies (STS) colleagues across campus – through bi-weekly brown bags, science and the public events and highly-sought guest speakers. Members also receive opportunities for special funding and travel grants through the semester.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Holtz Center community and connecting with other colleagues interested in science and technology studies from the UW-Madison community, simply forward your CV to Associate Director Lyn Macgregor for consideration by the Steering Committee, with a brief explanation of your connection to STS in the email.