This is a very rough adaptation of a workshop from "SCIENTIFIC TEACHING" BY JO HANDELSMAN, SARAH MILLER AND CHRISTINE PFUND. Please check our workshop materials in the Resources section for other workshop ideas.
The aim of this workshop is to help participants understand that diversity in STEM is essential; that aspects of our identity whether race, gender, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, and previous academic background make each student unique. We need to recognize that we all come into learning space with biases and assumptions that affect the way we teach and learn. "From an innovation perspective, our society loses out when STEM fields do not draw together from diverse backgrounds, whether from different lived experiences, and varied cognitive assets, or from diverse disciplines”
By the end of this workshop, participants will:
Understand that diversity is essential for progress in STEM
Understand that because each student carries a diverse background and identity, diverse students bring a unique perspective to the classroom
Understand the common biases and assumptions that exist and how they may affect the classroom environment
Understand that diversity affects learning and different teaching methods can reach a variety of students
Be able to define “diversity” with regard to various teaching methods, learning styles and students
Create opportunities in which diverse students learn from each other and therefore enhance the learning of the entire group
The following activities will help participants engage with teaching problems using a different teaching methods and think critically about how diversity may affect learning in STEM. We recommend including all activities within your workshop, but you can mix and match to suit whatever needs best fit your institution. Discuss case studies Case studies provide an avenue for students and professors to discuss openly the intersection between diversity and technical fields. The aim is not to solve the problem, but for people to hear a different perspective and to create an open forum where all opinions are respected.
Introduce "diversity": mini-lecture How exactly does diversity relate to STEM fields? This question, while perhaps obvious to some, may be on the minds of your workshop participants. For this reason, it can be important to provide some background research on how diversity in the classroom can have a major impact on STEM in the future.