876 Views
  1. Nathanial Brown
  2. https://sites.psu.edu/stemdiversitylab/
  3. Professor of Mathematics
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Pennsylvania State University
  1. Lindsay Palmer
  2. Graduate student
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Pennsylvania State University

Inclusive Instructor Behaviors

NSF Awards: 1937617

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate

At the undergraduate level, calculus is a notorious weed-out class for many STEM majors, particularly among underrepresented students. In 2017 the National Academy of Sciences highlighted three variables -- sense of belonging, self-efficacy, and growth mindset -- because (a) they are associated with student outcomes like grades or persistence and (b) they are all malleable, hence impacted by environmental events such as instructor behaviors. In the STEM Diversity Lab we are studying things university math instructors do or say that convey to students a sense they do/don't belong and can/can't succeed in math. Our focus is on the experiences of women and students of color as they remain critically underrepresented in STEM fields. The ultimate goal is to create more equitable and inclusive learning environments and this research could inform professional development trainings for instructors. 

This video has had approximately 234 visits by 188 visitors from 95 unique locations. It has been played 111 times.
activity map thumbnail Click to See Activity Worldwide
Map reflects activity with this presentation from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase website, as well as the STEM For All Multiplex website.
Based on periodically updated Google Analytics data. This is intended to show usage trends but may not capture all activity from every visitor.
show more
Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (27 posts)
  • Icon for: Mesut Duran

    Mesut Duran

    Facilitator
    Professor of Technology
    May 11, 2021 | 05:36 a.m.

    I really enjoyed watching the video, and the research topic studied. I wonder if you could provide some more info about how the focus group was selected.  Thanks, Mesut

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 12, 2021 | 06:12 p.m.

    Hi Mesut, 

    We are glad you enjoyed the video! We recruited undergraduate students enrolled in the calculus sequence at Penn State. We screened participants for eligibility before participation. Focus groups of students were designed so that we had groups that consisted of all women, all people of color, and all majority group members. We designed groups this way so that underrepresented students might feel more comfortable speaking about their unique experiences. 

  • Icon for: Mesut Duran

    Mesut Duran

    Facilitator
    Professor of Technology
    May 13, 2021 | 07:05 a.m.

    Hi Lindsay:  Thank you for your reply, and for providing additional info about focus group selection, this is very helpful.  --Mesut

  • Icon for: Neela White

    Neela White

    Facilitator
    Project Director
    May 11, 2021 | 10:20 a.m.

    Hi Penn State Team!  Thank you for this video submission.  I really enjoyed hearing directly from the students.  Did you find that the students experienced the same support/or lack of support from their instructors while virtual learning was in place?  Thanks and best of luck, Neela

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Travis York
  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 12, 2021 | 06:14 p.m.

    Hi Neela, 

    Thanks for your comment! This study was conducted before the emergency transition to remote learning. However, we do have an available pre-print of some preliminary findings about STEM students perspectives of their instructors and universities during the pandemic: https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/f6jkx/

  • Icon for: Neela White

    Neela White

    Facilitator
    Project Director
    May 13, 2021 | 04:09 p.m.

    Hi Lindsay, thank you for this link to the preliminary findings.  I will take a look at it.  Great job!

  • Icon for: Alexander Rudolph

    Alexander Rudolph

    Facilitator
    Professor of Physics and Astronomy
    May 11, 2021 | 10:24 a.m.

    I liked your video's focus on having students read out comments from the focus group. Could you summarize your overall findings from the focus group? Were there themes that emerged? How might you connect these types of comments to outcomes in the class?

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 13, 2021 | 07:48 p.m.

    Hi Alexander, 

    Sure thing! What we found is that students had clear ideas of what were positive and negative behaviors that were shared across groups. So, we did find themes common to all groups. However, we found that what students felt were most important or valued the varied given their background. For example, one theme was related to interpersonal skills. The interpersonal behaviors of their instructors was something that was thematically represented across all groups. Students mentioned both positive interpersonal interactions (e.g., being empathetic to students concerns) and negative ones (e.g., being condescending). For underrepresented group members, they felt that instructors who  "engaged everyone" was an important interpersonal skill -- but this was hardly discussed among majority group members. So, while we found themes that emerged across groups -- we found that majority/underrepresented students valued components of the thematic content in different ways. 

  • Icon for: Travis York

    Travis York

    Assistant Vice President, Academic & Student Affairs
    May 11, 2021 | 11:19 a.m.

    Super exciting work!  Previous research on student perceptions of teachers has indicated that there are racial and gendered dynamics involved in student's perceptions of their faculty; particularly for women of color faculty.  How will your work take these dynamics into account in ways that support URG Faculty in understanding how the embodiment of their roles interact with student perceptions and experiences?

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 12, 2021 | 06:31 p.m.

    Hi Travis, 

    Thank you for asking this question! To make students more comfortable to participate in the focus groups, we didn't ask them to provide us with details about their instructor. Students were really concerned about confidentiality and whether we could identify the instructors they were discussing. However, we are using our focus group data to create items for an externally valid scale to examine this phenomena more broadly. As a part of this work, we are considering ways we can use this instrument to understand students' experiences in the classroom as well as consider bias in student evaluations towards URG faculty and teaching assistants. 

  • Icon for: Kelly Costner

    Kelly Costner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 07:25 p.m.

    Lindsay:

    Wondering if this means you're developing a survey...

    Also thinking about how written data might inform development of those items.  I love the use of focus groups because you get outcomes that are greater than the sum of the parts (participants) due to the social interaction. I'm impressed, too, by the way you designed the groups to consist of rather homogeneous participants.  That's probably the opposite of my thinking on focus group recruitment in every case, so it's given me something to consider for the future.

    But for those more negative perceptions in particular, I wonder if some people might be more willing to reveal in written narrative. When I teach elementary math methods, I start the term by having the teacher candidates write their "mathematical autobiography" with a focus on how their teachers from PK to present made them feel about mathematics.  Those stories have been very revealing, and I'm not sure all of them would talk about it out loud in a group--or even one-on-one.  So, just wondering if there are any written narratives from students informing this work so far or if that mode might factor in at some point.

    I can't wait to see what comes from your group on this project!

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 13, 2021 | 07:51 p.m.

    Hi Kelly, 

    Your use of written narratives is really fascinating! I would love to hear more about it and think about this in a college classroom. 

    We do plan to develop a survey with our focus group data! We have several reasons for doing so ourselves and I also love the point you brought up about how we might get more candid responses from participants. 

    Thank you for your comment! We appreciate it.

  • Icon for: Shandy Hauk

    Shandy Hauk

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2021 | 01:37 p.m.

    There are a few things out there about the use of reflective narratives among college mathematics learners (including some of my own work :)...

    Hauk, S. (2005). Mathematical autobiography among college learners in the United States. ALM International Journal 1(1), 36-56.

    Krause G.H., Maldonado L.A. (2019) Our Linguistic and Cultural Resources: The Experiences of Bilingual Prospective Teachers with Mathematics Autobiographies. In: Bartell T., Drake C., McDuffie A., Aguirre J., Turner E., Foote M. (eds) Transforming Mathematics Teacher Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21017-5_12

    Lawler, B. R., & Gargoretzi, E. C. (2017). Mathematical Autobiography as a Window into Sociopolitical Teacher Identity. In Smith, W. M., Lawler, B. R., Bowers, J., & Augustyn, L. (Eds.). Proceedings of the sixth annual Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership conference. Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

  • May 11, 2021 | 01:07 p.m.

    Great video! This project resonated with my husband and he shared it with me. I will share it with the faculty in our Statistics and Mathematics departments.

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 12, 2021 | 06:31 p.m.

    Hi Marcia, 

    Thank you so much! 

  • May 11, 2021 | 05:02 p.m.

    Great use of student voices in the video. Their comments certainly elevate themes I've heard from students in our group's work. The harder part will be training ourselves out of these behaviors (I'm imagining classrooms where students are all issued a pet training clicker, ha... ).

    I look forward to learning more about this work in the future!

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 12, 2021 | 06:33 p.m.

    Hi Sandra, 

    I love the clicker training analogy-- thank you for your comment!

  • Icon for: Paola Sztajn

    Paola Sztajn

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 08:38 a.m.

    So important to see this work in higher education! I was also glad to see you build on what we know form research in K-12 math instruction.

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 12, 2021 | 06:33 p.m.

    Hi Paola, 

    Thank you! We are excited by the work in K-12 instruction and happy to learn from it. 

  • Icon for: Lauren Goff

    Lauren Goff

    K-12 Teacher
    May 12, 2021 | 10:26 a.m.

    Great video! This project speaks to me personally. I am so encouraged to see this self-awareness and motivation to become more inclusive at the college level. Looking forward to hearing more about this!

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 12, 2021 | 06:38 p.m.

    Hi Lauren, 

    Thank you for your comment! We will continue to speak to these issues and hope that the momentum will grow. 

     

  • Icon for: Jonee Wilson

    Jonee Wilson

    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 10:06 p.m.

    Very interesting work! This idea of belonging and care is something that comes up all of the time in the work VEAR-MI is doing at the K-12 level. So it makes sense that it would be important in the post-secondary context as well! I love that you all are asking students about their experiences (centralizing their voices and their stories). 

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 13, 2021 | 08:10 p.m.

    Hi Jonee, 

    Thank you! I agree it is so important to elevate and center students voices when discussing classroom equity. I loved learning about the work being done by the VEAR-MI team to create more equittable STEM participation in your video! The way your rubrics connect theory and teaching practices is really fascinating and inspiring for college contexts. Thank you for your comment!

  • May 13, 2021 | 04:16 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this work. It is so important to be looking at these issues in college-level mathematics instruction. In teaching preservice teachers in a masters program, I find I am working to undo a lot of the damage that has been done in college-level mathematics courses that make students feel that they are not capable of doing math, much less teaching it. As others have pointed out, there is so much to be learned from the work being done in K-12 education, particularly with respect to growth mindset and supporting productive struggle. I am curious about whether you plan to use your findings to provide training or professional development for instructors?

  • Icon for: Lindsay Palmer

    Lindsay Palmer

    Co-Presenter
    Graduate student
    May 13, 2021 | 08:12 p.m.

    Hi Caroline, 

    I agree with your comment that there is so much to be learned from the work in K-12 education and we are grateful for it as we explore it as we examine equity in college classrooms! We do aim to use this work to create interventions and pedagogical trainings for college-level instructors. 

  • Icon for: Nigel Bosch

    Nigel Bosch

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2021 | 03:24 p.m.

    Thanks for doing this valuable work!

    I see in the project description that it is motivated by three constructs (sense of belonging, self-efficacy, and growth mindset), but it seems like the focus groups could potentially turn up anything including ideas that don't correspond to these categories. How much have the focus groups aligned with these three expectations so far, and similarly have they revealed anything surprising?

  • Icon for: Jeremy Roschelle

    Jeremy Roschelle

    Researcher
    May 17, 2021 | 04:49 p.m.

    Very effective video -- from your initial self-presentation to the insights directly from students on their experience. I hope you are successful in spreading what you learn far and wide!

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Members may log in to post to this discussion.