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  1. Lawanda Cummings
  2. http://www.linkedin.com/in/lawanda-cummings-57b60411
  3. Director of STEM Education Research
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of the Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Inst for STEM Ed Res & Practice
  1. Jhenai Chandler
  2. Director
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Santa Fe Community College
  1. Verleen McSween
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of the Virgin Islands

Florida-Caribbean Louis Stokes Regional Center of Excellence

NSF Awards: 1826532

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate

Community Colleges and HBCUs are playing a critical role in preparing the next generation of the STEM workforce with nearly 50% of the undergraduate students enrolled in community colleges and 25% of all African American STEM degrees awarded at HBCUs. Although a critical link in the STEM pipeline, very little research, and STEM teaching enrichment have been built to equip faculty for grooming students for STEM success. This compounded with the COVID-19 pandemic exposed glaring disparities in the education system and the traditional methods for student development.

The FL-C LSRCE developed a summer series entitled Developing and Modeling Mindsets for STEM and Beyond that provided 46 faculty from institutions across the country (primarily HBCUs and CCs) with a suite of interventions to better understand their students and classroom environments, promote growth mindsets, encourage active and reflective learning, and strategies to give effective feedback. In partnership with Dr. Diana Bowen, Assistant Professor in Math and Education at UVI, this series challenged faculty to model these practices and behaviors with the use of technological applications, peer learning, and reflective assignments in online STEM courses, especially during the academic upheaval due to COVID-19.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (26 posts)
  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 11, 2021 | 11:21 a.m.

    Welcome everyone, 


    Thank you watching our video about our Growth Mindset faculty intervention!  Through this video we hope to share some of the critical work from the Florida-Caribbean Louis Stokes Regional Center of Excellence. The FL-C LSRCE leverages the strengths of Santa Fe College  (a community college) and the University of the Virgin Islands (a HBCU) to approach the unique needs of the students served and the faculty that teach. The Center has been developing, implementing, and evaluating customized Growth Mindset interventions for students and faculty at 6 partner institutions. With the onset of COVID-19, we transitioned our training to virtual and challenged our faculty to model growth mindset strategies and become a Growth Mindset Ambassador to their campuses. Focus group data from this amazing experience is being analyzed now to understand the impact and gains for faculty members.



    We would love some feedback on the following:


    1) The current Growth Mindset interventions have primarily focused on k-12 students. What are your thoughts on its transferability to higher education students and faculty?


    2) Do you think a focus on HBCU and community college STEM faculty helps address issues in the STEM pipeline and URM inclusion? How and why do you think these institutions are important access points?


    3) What suggestions would you give for sustaining faculty support and training in Growth Mindset beyond the grant?


    Thanks again, and enjoy the showcase!

     
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    Tiffany Wright
  • Icon for: Allison Master

    Allison Master

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 02:07 p.m.

    This is terrific! (Carol Dweck was my PhD advisor, and I also do research on students' mindsets.) There are really exciting recent studies coming out that show the benefits of faculty growth mindsets for students of color (Canning et al., 2019; Muenks et al., 2020), so promoting growth mindsets for faculty is so important. What are your next steps for this research after the focus group data?

     
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    Lawanda Cummings
  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 11, 2021 | 03:07 p.m.

    Thank you for the citations!! We are going to further our investigation of the instrumentality of Growth Mindset strategies on faculty success and perceived efficacy in teaching. We also have developed a group called the 'Growth Mindset Ambassadors' across multiple colleges/universities. Those faculty share strategies and techniques on their campuses to help create a Growth Mindset conducive 'culture'. Through this, we are hoping to expand the reach of this intervention to larger portions of STEM faculty.

    I am also looking at some next steps in researching the cross-institutional professional learning communities that are emerging. 

  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Facilitator
    Former Program Officer (NSF)
    May 11, 2021 | 10:10 p.m.

     

    In too much of STEM education students believe they  either know the answer of they don't or they are good at the subject or they are not.  They do not have a sense that they can learn.  As I understand it, a growth mind set is to make students realize that they can learn  and become better at the topic at hand.  I think that design as practiced in technology and engineering is a good way to instill growth mind set.  One can start with a mediocre design of a product to do a task.  The students can redesign the product to do the task better or even to have the product become more versatile.  Since there is no one correct answer,  students are measured on their ability to improve the product.  Using the technological design as a starting point, I think that there is evidence that students gain confidence in their ability to figure things out in other disciplines.   Do you have metrics both for teachers and for students for judging the success of your efforts?  What would you lie to see teachers do in classrooms?  What would you expect students  to be able to do?    This is a project worth pursuing. 

     
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    Sarah Hough
  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 12, 2021 | 11:07 a.m.

    Thank you for the questions and insights Gerhard! The larger project has both student-facing and faculty-facing interventions that have been customized over the last 2 years to the specific needs of HBCUs and community colleges. On the student side, we have been measuring Growth Mindset of students, their campus, and faculty; sense of belonging, grit, efficacy (both general academic and STEM specific), and grades. On the faculty side (which is emerging), we have been looking at the implementation of the Growth Mindset teaching strategies from our training,  faculty perceived efficacy in teaching, their perceptions of student gains, and the teaching aids/products they are generating.

    The hope of the interventions is to create paths of success and support (faculty/institutional) for URM student inclusion in STEM. Our approach to students is to address internal beliefs about STEM and the capacity to struggle forward to gain mastery (growth mindset). Our pre-post design will give us measures of attitudinal change for students and we are collecting grades for intervention and control courses.

    I hope I answered everything. We are in the midst of data analysis of the customized interventions and looking at the faculty-student connections. I am excited to see and share the results.

  • Icon for: Joselina Cheng

    Joselina Cheng

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.

    The desire to create paths of success and support for faculty and URM students is to be applauded. Addressing students’ internal beliefs about STEM with a supportive ecosystem to build up the STEM capacity are also critical.  Look forward to the dissemination of finding on the pre-post measure of attitudinal change.

  • Icon for: Nadia Mills

    Nadia Mills

    Researcher
    May 12, 2021 | 10:36 a.m.

    Such important work! Great job!

  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 12, 2021 | 11:07 a.m.

    Thank you Dr. Monrose Mills

  • Icon for: Rivka Glaser

    Rivka Glaser

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 10:58 a.m.

    This is excellent!  Do you envision the Growth Mindset ambassadors being used as regional ambassadors, so that they could train other faculty from nearby institutions, not just their own institutions? 

  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 14, 2021 | 10:01 a.m.

    I love this idea and I think that we can move our faculty to that approach. We are striving to create Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) that cross institutions, starting with representation from partnering institutions. With COVID-19 pushing us to virtual offerings, we have had participants from as far as Guam using and implementing the strategies on their campuses. I would say also a powerful aspect of the GM Ambassador is the sharing between faculty of strategies that they have adapted or even created. It is amazing to watch them (the faculty) modeling Growth Mindset themselves.  as they do this work.

     
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    Yolanda Abel
  • Icon for: Rivka Glaser

    Rivka Glaser

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2021 | 01:25 p.m.

    That's fantastic!  As a member of the Genomics Education Partnership, I have really enjoyed being part of a community of practice and have learned so much from fellow GEP faculty.  We now have regional nodes that offer training for new members as well as opportunities for current faculty to meet.  I would be very interested in a GM PLC!  Do you have a time frame for their creation?  

  • Icon for: Toni Sperzel

    Toni Sperzel

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 12, 2021 | 01:44 p.m.

    Dr. Cummings & Team,

    Thank you all for sharing this work through the STEM for all Showcase! Our AGEP Alliance work includes in our model an intervention for current and future faculty on how to incorporate growth mindset perspectives into their mentoring at the doctoral level. We are also taking the k-12 work on growth mindset and applying the knowledge and skills in a post-post-secondary space, but doing so outside of the classroom and into research spaces at a Research Intensive Institution and two Primarily Undergraduate institutions in collaboration with a Federally Funded Research and Development Center.

    It is exciting to see a team working on the application of growth mindset strategies in the classroom as well. I look forward to learning more about the resources developed by the group, the findings that come out of this work. 

     
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    Lawanda Cummings
  • Icon for: Sarah Hough

    Sarah Hough

    Researcher
    May 12, 2021 | 03:36 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this important work Dr. Cummings. The relationships among capacity to struggle forward to gain mastery in STEM, sense of belonging in STEM and identity beliefs about oneself as a STEM scholar are complex. I look forward to reading your results.

     
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    Lawanda Cummings
  • May 12, 2021 | 06:58 p.m.

    Exciting to hear about the incorporation of growth mindset in fostering curiosity among students. It looks like our projects are thinking about similar issues related to building confidence and persistence of students in STEM fields. My team and I are identifying alternative conceptions students have in environmental programs as a way to integrate new knowledge, boost confidence and motivation, and increase the likelihood that students will complete their degree programs. Unfortunately we don't have any community colleges or HBCUs but hope to integrate such institutions into future projects!

  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 14, 2021 | 10:10 a.m.

    That is so exciting to hear. We have been amazed at some of the innovations that our faculty have developed to address both cognitive and non-cognitive factors of their students, who are usually working, parenting, and/or navigating the pitfalls of being first-generation student status. We are working with many of these faculty on transitioning their in-class innovations into research. We just hosted an intensive writing clinic in the Caribbean (they were happy to write and hang out on the beach) with a well-known writing coach, Dr. Tamera Bertrand Jones. Let's keep in touch.

  • Icon for: Tiffany Wright

    Tiffany Wright

    Graduate Student
    May 13, 2021 | 07:52 p.m.

    Thank you Dr. Cummings and team for introducing such an engaging topic through your research video. I believe that community colleges in particular have a unique advantage in addressing access issues in the STEM pipeline. In my initial research of access and equity in Computer Science (CS) education, I have found that many states do not require CS coursework for their K-12 schools (Ryoo et al., 2013; Lambert, 2018; Lambert, 2019). School districts with greater resources have more leverage to offer such coursework compared to their counterparts with fewer resources. This presents a dilemma for students who may have an interest in CS-related careers but lack foundational knowledge in CS coursework as a result of not having access to the subject prior to college.

    The community college could serve as a bridge to connect students to course options that may have been lacking in their secondary school curriculum. Such provides an opportunity for students to gain foundational knowledge in preparation for STEM-related majors like computer science. It is also worth noting that some high school students begin pursuing college credits through concurrent enrollment at a community college. Perhaps this provides an opportunity to increase the pipeline by developing a growth mindset in secondary learners prior to matriculating into the tertiary education level.

  • Icon for: Susan Warshaw

    Susan Warshaw

    External Evaluator
    May 14, 2021 | 12:50 p.m.

    I believe in the growth mindset. I have found most students benefit from having  a professor who understands the role of self confidence in achieving academic progress. In my opinion, older students and those with PTSD achieve more when there is positive reinforcement and direct connection with the instructor..

  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 17, 2021 | 12:54 p.m.

    Thank you for this comment. We have found that our faculty are very invested in student success and value a set of strategies to understand barriers that may exist for their student and strategies to  'do' growth mindset in the classroom. Myself and Dr. Chandler are also interested in how we can bolster student non-cognitive factors related to academic success. 

    Additionally, community colleges and HBCUs traditionally have more non-traditional students (working, parenting, older, delay in college start), so they fit into both categories you mentioned.

  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Facilitator
    Former Program Officer (NSF)
    May 15, 2021 | 06:33 p.m.

    Why does no one invoke music lessons or athletics as examples of a growth mind set?  In both you practice to increase your skills and abilities.  

  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 17, 2021 | 01:00 p.m.

    Great observation. We can learn a lot from those fields in addressing the non-cognitive factors of effort and motivation.  There is some critical work in Growth Mindset in athletics.  I like this site https://trainugly.com/portfolio/growth-mindset/ and we have used some of the techniques they endorse in some of our strategy development. 

  • Icon for: Yolanda Abel

    Yolanda Abel

    Facilitator
    Associate Professor
    May 15, 2021 | 06:47 p.m.

    Lawanda, like the focus on students and faculty. Sometimes, as faculty, we need reminders for our own growth and development and the way we interact with students from various backgrounds. 

  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 17, 2021 | 01:17 p.m.

    I appreciate your feedback! We are trying to work towards a cultural change on these campuses in which Growth Mindset is the norm from both the student and faculty perspective. Through the center, we are also encouraging faculty to continue growing in their areas of research through a partnership with the Brookhaven National Laboratories. https://www.mindsetsforstem.org/sidney-bolden

     

  • Icon for: Jonee Wilson

    Jonee Wilson

    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 12:50 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing this important work- thinking about growth mindsets and how this could be reinforced in the context of HBCU and community college classrooms. One thing that I am finding in the K-12 setting is that specific teaching practices and aspects of classroom instruction seem to support students' participation, access, and identity development (all of which are often the result of having developed a growth mindset). For example, what we on our project call "promoting a nurturing classroom environment" involves things like the teacher being perceived as approachable and developing norms that support productive mindsets. Also what we are calling "positioning students as competent" involves things like affirming that students are capable and focusing on the productive processes rather than getting the correct answer. Are you finding similar practices and strategies in the college and university settings (I think often, as educators, we forget that students need some of the same supports beyond the 12th grade)? If so, how do you support instructors in enacting and developing these practices and strategies?  

  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 17, 2021 | 01:31 p.m.

    I like the synergy of de-compartmentalizing learners as either k-12 and higher education! We should really rethink learning as a lifetime endeavor.

    You are correct in your description of how teaching practices/strategies must be addressed to really impact the learning experience of students, especially in higher ed. Our faculty participated in an additional training entitled "Cultural Competence and Inclusion" to address some of the equity issues that we inadvertently carry into the classroom. That training was very popular (over 90 registrants) and really had faculty learn strategies for their course to create inclusive and safe environments for students to learn. That included addressing our own beliefs about students' capability. The Growth Mindset and Beyond training focused on faculty modeling Growth Mindset as a student (first) in the session and then implementing teaching strategies to recreate that experience for their students. For many, like Dr. Msween in the video, it caused a shift from product to process-focused work and deeper compassion for learners.

     
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    Jonee Wilson
  • Icon for: Jonee Wilson

    Jonee Wilson

    Assistant Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 11:06 p.m.

    Oh wow, sounds like an amazing experience for faculty! Thank you again...and let's be in touch (I think there is interesting overlap between our work :)

  • Icon for: Lawanda Cummings

    Lawanda Cummings

    Lead Presenter
    Director of STEM Education Research
    May 18, 2021 | 08:03 a.m.

    No thank you! I will definitely reach out after the showcase to see where I work  (in my multiple spheres) align. Till then, my email is Lawanda.cummings@uvi.edu

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