Exploring Energy Through the Lens of Equity: Funds of Knowledge Conveyed Through Video-Based Discussion

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2 Scopus citations


Energy literacy is critical for all undergraduate students, particularly for future teachers, as they will guide the next generation toward more just and equitable energy systems. Many pre-service teachers have funds of knowledge (FoK) about energy that can enhance critical thinking about energy systems and inequities. This qualitative study explored pre-service teachers’ funds of knowledge in online discussions about energy. Our students (n = 38) were older than typical undergraduates (mean age = 28), and most (75%) had transferred from community colleges prior to attending Arizona State University. These students were enrolled in an online Sustainability Science for Teachers course. We analyzed student assignments from a 3-week energy unit designed to elicit student perspectives on energy injustices and equitable energy solutions. Overall, we found that many students drew from rich life experiences in their video-based discussions. Students shared FoK in the following content areas: energy sources, energy impacts, agriculture, conservation, energy industry perspectives, and energy consumption. Three exemplary cases are included to illustrate how students conveyed their FoK throughout the energy unit. These students brought pluralistic perspectives to online Flipgrid discussions focused on energy inequities. In the discussion, we highlight the importance of integrating social justice topics when teaching about energy, to bring more relevance to energy education. We also describe how video-based discussion can be utilized to create more equitable and culturally responsive online learning environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2237-2260
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Culturally responsive pedagogy
  • Energy literacy
  • Funds of knowledge
  • Higher education
  • STEM education
  • Video-based discussion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)


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