Readings on Effective Practices in the STEM Classroom
Note that these readings were compiled from Spring 2016 course, and include a rough guideline on some of the selected readings. We will update these readings to provide a more thorough review of effective practices.
Diversity is not about filling a quota; it’s about creating a system in which all talents have an opportunity to rise and different perspectives are encouraged rather than suppressed. David E. Goldberg
WHAT DOES DIVERSITY HAVE TO DO WITH STEM EDUCATION?
Although many institutions have put together programs to increase retention rates and engagement of student’s coming from underrepresented backgrounds, studies show that minority students are still falling behind. Retention rates of minority students in STEM still remain lower than majority students. Scientific learning is challenging. However, we need to get rid of this viewpoint that STEM is a “sink or swim” major and those who are falling behind don't belong.
SO, WHAT DOES INCLUSIVE PEDAGOGY MEAN?
When discussing inclusive pedagogy, there are several principles at making sure students from different backgrounds with a diverse range of learning styles can succeed in science. Active participation and discovery-based laboratory courses rather than the traditionally lecture based and cookbook laboratory techniques have been shown to more successfully engage students. In large introductory classes this means including smaller discussion sections where students can interact one on one with professors to improve problem-solving skills. This means mentorship programs and making sure that students have mentors to provide support and guidance throughout college experience. This means collaborative-based courses where students work with other students in small groups to complete guided activities. Across the nation, institutions that have adapted workshop styles classes have seen an increase in retention of students’ problem solving ability, conceptual understanding and general success in upper-level courses. Recent research shows that when students are placed in groups with student from different backgrounds, students tend to engage with the material better than when placed in homogenous groups. All in all this requires the dedication of professors and faculty members engaging and tailoring lectures to accommodate a large variety of backgrounds and learning styles.
Click below to get additional peer reviewed articles, books, and conference information on best practices in STEM around the world.