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Scientist Spotlights: Science Identity and
Educational Innovation in Community
Colleges and Beyond
MARY WYER, JEFF SCHINSK...
Workshop Goals
1. Provide you with an example of one intervention & assessment strategy
2. Promote focused discussion of y...
Overview
1. Briefly, Our Example
◦ Touchstone Theory, Methods, Study Design
◦ Jeff's Intervention
◦ Qualitative & Quantita...
Stereotypes
1. Cognitive shortcuts
2. Explicitly and Implicitly Invoked
3. Evidence for Effects
◦ Stereotype Threat (Steel...
Design & Methods
1. Intervention Research
2. Quasi-Experimental Non-Equivalent Control Group Design
3. Pre- & Post-
4. Qua...
Scientist Spotlights
WEEKLY ONLINE HOMEWORK TO SHIFT SCIENTIST STEREOTYPES &
ENHANCE SCIENCE IDENTITY
Quick Discussion Prompt…
1. Think, then share with the person next to you…
2. At the beginning of a course, how would your...
Outcomes & Results
ASSESSING CHANGES IN FEELINGS TOWARDS SCIENCE AND
INCLINATIONS TO MAJOR IN STEM
Terminology
1. Science Identity: The extent to which a student can imagine herself/himself
as a scientist
2. Interest: Stu...
Student Connections with Science
MAJOR QUESTIONS
1. Does science identity improve from pre-
test to post-test?
2. Are stud...
Analyses of Short Essays
The first part of our analyses examined science identity, interest in science, and
inclination to...
0
20
40
60
80
Control Scientist Spotlights
Ave%ofStereotypicalDescriptions
PerStudent
Stereotypical Descriptions of Scient...
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
Control Scientist Spotlights
AbilitytoPersonallyRelatetoatLeast
OneScientist
Identification of a R...
Conclusions
1. Students who completed the scientist spotlights were more likely to describe
scientists non-stereotypically...
Focus Group Discussions
STRATEGIES, INTERVENTIONS, AND ASSESSMENT
Small Group Discussion:
Strategies & Interventions
1. What approaches have you used to help students see themselves in sci...
Small Group Discussion:
Assessing Impacts
1. How do you assess students’ sense of belonging in science?
2. How do you asse...
Focus Groups Summary Points
We Appreciate Your Participation
If you would like to participate in future data collection, if there are related areas
of...
Students’ Descriptions of Scientists
(font sizes reflect frequencies of descriptions in student papers)
Before
After
Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science
Latino (Male) Student
BEGINNING OF QUARTER
“The types of people that do s...
Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science
Filipina (Female) Student
BEGINNING OF QUARTER
“I don’t remember specific...
Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science
Latina (Female) Student
BEGINNING OF QUARTER
“Somewhat Agree. I am knowle...
Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science
White Female Student
BEGINNING OF QUARTER
“Somewhat Disagree. I don’t kno...
Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science
Black/Native American Female Student
BEGINNING OF QUARTER
“Disagree. I do...
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Scientist Spotlights: Science Identity and Educational Innovation in Community Colleges and Beyond

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A presentation about a classroom intervention, called Scientist Spotlights, and some preliminary results (using quantitative and qualitative analysis) as presented at the AAC&U STEM Conference 2015. Please contact Heather Perkins at hlperki2@ncsu.edu if you have any comments, questions, or concerns.

Published in: Education
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Scientist Spotlights: Science Identity and Educational Innovation in Community Colleges and Beyond

  1. 1. Scientist Spotlights: Science Identity and Educational Innovation in Community Colleges and Beyond MARY WYER, JEFF SCHINSKE, & HEATHER PERKINS
  2. 2. Workshop Goals 1. Provide you with an example of one intervention & assessment strategy 2. Promote focused discussion of your classroom approaches 3. Together generate summary of approaches and next steps
  3. 3. Overview 1. Briefly, Our Example ◦ Touchstone Theory, Methods, Study Design ◦ Jeff's Intervention ◦ Qualitative & Quantitative Results 2. Small Group Discussions 3. Reconvene to Share & Summarize 4. Next Steps
  4. 4. Stereotypes 1. Cognitive shortcuts 2. Explicitly and Implicitly Invoked 3. Evidence for Effects ◦ Stereotype Threat (Steele et al, Shih et al) ◦ Validation Theory (Cohen) ◦ Implicit Association Test (Greenwald et al) 4. Implications for Educators ◦ Possible Selves (mw get cite) ◦ Fit (Kessels 2015)
  5. 5. Design & Methods 1. Intervention Research 2. Quasi-Experimental Non-Equivalent Control Group Design 3. Pre- & Post- 4. Qualitative (short essay) & Quantitative (multiple choice survey) Measures
  6. 6. Scientist Spotlights WEEKLY ONLINE HOMEWORK TO SHIFT SCIENTIST STEREOTYPES & ENHANCE SCIENCE IDENTITY
  7. 7. Quick Discussion Prompt… 1. Think, then share with the person next to you… 2. At the beginning of a course, how would your students… ◦ …describe science? ◦ ..describe scientists?
  8. 8. Outcomes & Results ASSESSING CHANGES IN FEELINGS TOWARDS SCIENCE AND INCLINATIONS TO MAJOR IN STEM
  9. 9. Terminology 1. Science Identity: The extent to which a student can imagine herself/himself as a scientist 2. Interest: Students’ interest in science and in pursuing a science career, e.g., “Interested in discussing this subject area with friends or family“ 3. Major: Whether students self identified as majoring in Biology or another science or math field
  10. 10. Student Connections with Science MAJOR QUESTIONS 1. Does science identity improve from pre- test to post-test? 2. Are students more interested in majoring in STEM at post-test than at pre-test? 3. Does general interest in science improve from pre-test to post-test? MAJOR FINDINGS 1. Students show significantly higher science identity at post-test, F(1,157) = 19.43, p < .001, η2 = .11 2. Students more likely to report Biology (or a similar field) as their major, F(1,157) = 42.58, p < .001, η2 = .21 3. Students report significantly higher interest in science at post-test, F(1,157) = 16.47, p < .001, η2 = .10
  11. 11. Analyses of Short Essays The first part of our analyses examined science identity, interest in science, and inclination towards a Biology major, and found positive improvements in all areas. In order to examine changes in how students perceive scientists, and to determine how these beliefs changed over the semester and were impacted by the Scientist Spotlights, we analyzed essay responses to the following two prompts. 1. Based on what you know now, describe the types of people who do science. If possible, refer to specific scientists and what they tell you about the types of people who do science. 2. “I know of one or more important scientist to whom I can personally relate.” Agree/Disagree Likert Scale + Essay Explanation
  12. 12. 0 20 40 60 80 Control Scientist Spotlights Ave%ofStereotypicalDescriptions PerStudent Stereotypical Descriptions of Scientists Pre-Test Post-Test 0 20 40 60 80 Control Scientist Spotlights Ave%ofNon-stereotypicalDescriptions PerStudent Non-Stereotypical Descriptions for Scientists Pre-Test Post-Test Insights from Student Essays: Stereotypes Students who completed the Scientist Spotlights used significantly fewer stereotypical descriptions than those in the control group, F(1,238) = 10.31, p = .001, η2 = .04, and significantly more non-stereotypical descriptions, F(17.97, p < .001, η2 = .06 Conclusion: Students who completed Scientist Spotlights held more diverse views of scientists.
  13. 13. 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 Control Scientist Spotlights AbilitytoPersonallyRelatetoatLeast OneScientist Identification of a Relatable Scientist: Experimenal & Control Pre-Test Post-Test 2.83 2.71 2.80 3.37 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 1 2 3 4 CourseGrade Identification of a Relatable Scientist Relationship Between Grade & Relatability Rating Insights from Student Essays: Relatability Experimental students identified a specific scientist they can relate to at higher rates than control students, F(1,235) = 17.21, p < .001, η2 = .07. There was also a positive relationship between relatability and course grade, F(1,284) = 8.28, p = .004, R2 = .03. Conclusion: Experimental students more likely identified with a scientist, which is linked to better class performance.
  14. 14. Conclusions 1. Students who completed the scientist spotlights were more likely to describe scientists non-stereotypically, and to have identified a scientist they can relate to. Having a scientist to identify with is linked to better class performance (as measured by grade). 2. Preliminary findings that look at science identity, interest in science, and inclination towards a Biology major, also found positive outcomes for students who completed the class. 3. Some areas of interest for further pursuit: confidence in science, interest in other STEM majors, ??.
  15. 15. Focus Group Discussions STRATEGIES, INTERVENTIONS, AND ASSESSMENT
  16. 16. Small Group Discussion: Strategies & Interventions 1. What approaches have you used to help students see themselves in science? 2. How do you currently incorporate people, history, and cultural relevance into your science classes?
  17. 17. Small Group Discussion: Assessing Impacts 1. How do you assess students’ sense of belonging in science? 2. How do you assess students’ interest in science? 3. How can we share and assess our best practices?
  18. 18. Focus Groups Summary Points
  19. 19. We Appreciate Your Participation If you would like to participate in future data collection, if there are related areas of interest that you would like to study, or if you would like to utilize this intervention for your class (or contribute new names for us to profile) please visit our website! We are collecting email addresses so that we can build a community of individuals interested in this topic. http://url
  20. 20. Students’ Descriptions of Scientists (font sizes reflect frequencies of descriptions in student papers) Before After
  21. 21. Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science Latino (Male) Student BEGINNING OF QUARTER “The types of people that do science are very patient and passionate people.” END OF QUARTER “The types of people that do science are all kinds of people. What I have learned throughout this course is that it is possible to be a scientist under any circumstances, from poverty to being from a different country to having a stereotypical assumption about a person, for example a cheerleader. Anyone can be a scientist if they want to. One thing all scientist we learned about had in common was that they weren’t interested in science until something sparked their interest.”
  22. 22. Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science Filipina (Female) Student BEGINNING OF QUARTER “I don’t remember specific names when it comes to scientists, although I think scientists study science because they’re interested in knowing the reasons for things happening, experimenting with the body, nature, animals, etc. Scientists are the type of people that want to discover an answer to something.” END OF QUARTER “Before I learned about scientists in this class, I thought scientists were like ‘nerds’ or what they show in movies…However, through all the research I’ve done in this class, scientists are just normal people like myself. They love to learn new things, they have a life outside the laboratory, they are fun, and like to have fun. My opinion of people that do science has completely changed thanks to this class.”
  23. 23. Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science Latina (Female) Student BEGINNING OF QUARTER “Somewhat Agree. I am knowledgeable of various scientists but I don’t feel personally relatable to them. I appreciate their work and what it has done to better inform us as a society.” END OF QUARTER “Somewhat Agree. In some of the spotlights some scientists felt that they didn’t always want to pursue a career in science and that it just happens. I’m starting to feel the same way. I’m not originally a science major but I feel that I could have a future in it if I find the right field.”
  24. 24. Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science White Female Student BEGINNING OF QUARTER “Somewhat Disagree. I don’t know any important scientists who I can relate to, but I’m sure I will learn about some later on in this class.” END OF QUARTER “Agree. I relate the most with the neurologist/musician from the first scientist spotlight who looked at brain imaging while doing either improvisation or reading music he had never played, because I am also a musician and I have a really big interest in neurology and psychology.”
  25. 25. Essay Responses: Types of People that Do Science Black/Native American Female Student BEGINNING OF QUARTER “Disagree. I don’t know.” END OF QUARTER “Agree. I can relate the most to Ben Barres because of the obvious discrimination he received as a woman. Being the older sister of a very bright brother, I am often compared to him and overlooked for my intelligence. Unless it comes from him, my opinion is just that of a woman.”

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