This report covers the period from January 2016 to May 25, 2016. It includes my term as NARST President and NARST Immediate Past President. As the President of NARST, I conferred with the President-elect and the Immediate Past President and, many times, the Executive Director. Hence, recommendations were made and agendas offered to the Executive Board as a team. As President, I have found this approach supported by the previous Bylaws and recently approved Bylaws. I have devoted my time to the following: (a) the NARST Bylaws and other organizational matters, (b) 2016 NARST conference, and (c) general NARST business.
The NARST Bylaws and Other Organizational Matters
Because enough NARST members did not vote to support the proposed NARST Bylaws during the time they submitted their proposals for the 2016 annual international conference, the NARST Executive Board altered Article IX of the previous Bylaws to state the following: “These Bylaws may be amended by (1) a majority vote of the Board of Directors, provided that the substance of any proposed amendment is included in the notice of the meeting at which such amendments will be considered, followed by (b) a majority vote of the members, provided that at least 10% of the membership votes. These Bylaws may also be amended by a vote of the members, without approval of the Board of Directors, as provided in the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act.” The members approved this change and, thus, the proposed NARST Bylaws became the current NARST Bylaws, approved February 5, 2016 and recently posted to the NARST website. Much time and effort were spent by Presidential Team and the NARST Executive Board to accomplish this task. As a result, NARST now has a set of Bylaws that makes the organization compliant with Minnesota Law and the IRS and that establishes a governance Executive Board.
Randy Yerrick will continue as the Director of Electronic Communications for an additional one year. In addition, the Graduate School of Education at SUNY will continue to employ a graduate student to assist Randy Yerrick with the e-version of the NARST conference program.
The Ad Hoc Website Provider Committee, chaired by Scott McDonald, sent out an announcement soliciting proposals for the NARST website provider, after the Presidential Team and Executive Director had reviewed the announcement and submitted revisions. At the April board meeting, the Executive Board listened to 30-minute presentations from three potential website providers.
2016 NARST Conference
The theme of the 2016 NARST annual international conference was Toward Equity and Justice: Many Different Voices, Cultures, and Languages in Science Education Research for Quality Science Learning and Teaching. There was only one plenary speaker, Professor Arnetha F. Ball (Equity, Justice and Generativity in Education Research for Quality Teaching and Learning), and two Presidential Sponsored Sessions entitled (a) “Engagement, Disengagement, and Alienation of Students in Science Education” and (b) “Where Should Science Education Be with Respect to the Conversations and Cultural Unrest in Our Academies and Schools?”
A special thanks to everyone involved in preparing the final program for the annual international conference, including all Program Committee Members; our management firm DMG; PODI, which provided the proposal submission system; Program Coordinator Toni Sondergeld; Director of Electronic Communications Randy Yerrick; and Natasha Hilsman Johnson, Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia.
At the NARST annual international conference, the NARST President invites the leaders of science education research organizations to exchange ideas on science education research and worldwide collaboration. I invited leaders to a special breakfast-meeting at NARST’s international conference on Friday, April 15th.
Board directors whose terms ended in April 2016 received their plaques at the Awards Luncheon because I promised that my presidential speech would last only 15 minutes. It lasted less than 15 minutes. In addition, all committee members, co-chairs of committees, and strand co-coordinators whose terms ended at the April 2016 NARST conference received certificates of appreciation for their service. This is a way for NARST to thank them for their hard work. In addition, during the Award Luncheon, the names of committee members appeared on the screen – another way of acknowledging NARST members’ work on committees.
I would like the membership to have the opportunity to evaluate their experience at the 2016 NARST Annual International Conference at Baltimore, MD. So I am asking everyone who attended to take some time to complete the SurveyMonkey questionnaire I created. All responses will be anonymous and the quantitative data will be analyzed and written comments will be summarized. A written report based on this survey will be shared with the NARST Executive Board at the October 2016 Board Meeting. Also, a report will appear in the eNARST News written by me based upon the data from this survey. Therefore, if you want your ideas and opinions voiced, please take the time to complete this survey. The link to participate can be found at this link:
General NARST Business
Finally, as Immediate Past President, I serve as Chair of the Organization/Internal Committee and co-Chair of the Membership and Elections Committee. In addition, I continue to serve as a member of the Presidential Team to assist the President Mei-Hung Chiu.