Collaborative Research: IUSE: EHR - Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Undergraduate STEM Instruction

Project: Research project

Project Details


Project summary: Higher education plays a critical role in building a strong STEM workforce and participatory citizenry for the future. Yet, our current academic system loses many potential STEM graduates, especially among underrepresented groups, leading to glaring disparities in the majority of STEM careers. While there have been some gains, national data continue to show that the disparity in STEM degree attainment for women and underrepresented minority (URM) students increases at each degree level, compared with white and Asian students. To meet the needs of all students, colleges and universities must further change pedagogical practices. While research has uncovered effective and equitable practices that support and develop students’ science self-efficacy, identity, and motivation that promote persistence, widespread adoption of these practices has been limited. Inclusive teaching approaches offer means for instructors to reflect critically on all aspects of their courses, rethinking their curricular choices; their teaching methods, activities, and assessments; the intersections of their own identities and those of their students; and how power, positionality, and privilege play out in a variety of learning environments. Intellectual Merit: The project will create and deliver content that demonstrably improves the awareness, confidence, and ability of PhDs, postdocs, and early career-faculty to create inclusive STEM learning environments for their students. The project’s pedagogical approach relies significantly on theatrical and improvisational dramatization to build awareness and personal growth in social identity, power and positionality, and will deliver content, curriculum and discussions through multiple online and in-person modes. The project will build on the expertise within national networks, including community college networks, to develop a comprehensive virtual and in-person professional development program that will prepare, at a national scale, future and early career faculty to teach inclusively. To do this, the project will build and sustain a diverse network of institutions through learning communities of trained facilitators to advance inclusive learning and teaching on their campuses. Further, the collaboration is committed to build, improve, and sustain itself as an organization that practices inclusion. The collaboration will apply a combination of a collective impact framework of a shared common agenda, including mission, core ideas, and learning outcomes, together with a multicultural organizational model informed by critical race and feminist theories. The project will infuse knowledge, embed research, implement continuous assessment and evaluation throughout to advance the understanding of effective ways to create inclusive and effective STEM learning environments. All activities will be approached as systems to be tested, as learning objectives to be assessed, as program efficacy to be evaluated; as a research-embedded project, inquiry, reflection and data improvement cycles will be ubiquitous. Finally, the project will be knowledge generating - advancing scholarship in faculty and future faculty development around inclusive teaching practice; determining best practices in scaling modes of delivery for different audiences in different contexts; reporting on models of in-person and virtual learning communities of facilitators and instructors; and exploring sustainability through a national network of institutions. Broader Impacts: The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare current and f
Effective start/end date10/1/189/30/24


  • National Science Foundation (DUE-1821684/003)


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