National efforts to improve equitable teaching practices in biology education have led to an increase in research on the barriers to student participation and performance, as well as solutions for overcoming these barriers. Fewer studies have examined the extent to which the resulting data trends and effective strategies are generalizable across multiple contexts or are specific to individual classrooms, institutions, or geographic regions. To address gaps in our understanding, as well as to establish baseline information about students across contexts, a working group associated with a research coordination network (Equity and Diversity in Undergraduate STEM, EDU-STEM) convened in Las Vegas, Nevada, in No-vember of 2019. We addressed the following objectives: 1) characterize the present state of equity and diversity in undergraduate biology education research; 2) address the value of a network of educators focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics equity; 3) summarize the status of data collection and results; 4) identify and prioritize questions and interventions for future collaboration; and 5) construct a recruitment plan that will further the efforts of the EDU-STEM research coordination network. The report that follows is a summary of the conclusions and future directions from our discussion.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Samantha Brandt at University of Minnesota provided invaluable logistical and creative support for the meeting. We would also like to thank the Psychology Department at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for hosting our meeting. This work was supported by a RCN grant from the NSF (DBI-1919462). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.
To address research priorities, we convened a network of educators and discipline-based education researchers through a research coordination network (RCN) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) called Equity and Diversity in Undergraduate STEM (EDU-STEM). EDU-STEM integrates research and teaching in the context of evidence-based classroom experiences across biology curricula. The objectives of EDU-STEM are to: 1) reveal differences, if they exist, in the cultural climate for women and minoritized and marginalized groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines (initially focusing on biology) as a function of geography, institution type, and cultural profile of the participating departments; (2) increase the number of faculty in the United States who are familiar with barriers to inclusion in STEM and can apply evidence-based techniques for countering known barriers; 3) develop a community of faculty who can serve as leaders—at their home institutions and nationally—in inclusive teaching and assessment; and 4) identify cultural factors associated with a shift toward evidence-based teaching, especially pertaining to inclusive teaching. In this paper, we present a framework for network activities developed during a meeting of EDU-STEM participants held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in November of 2019.
Samantha Brandt at University of Minnesota provided invalu-able logistical and creative support for the meeting. We would also like to thank the Psychology Department at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for hosting our meeting. This work was supported by a RCN grant from the NSF (DBI-1919462). Any opin-ions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.
© 2020 S. K. Thompson et al.