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      Critical Faculty and Peer Instructor Development: Core Components for Building Inclusive STEM Programs in Higher Education


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          First-generation college students and those from ethnic groups such as African Americans, Latinx, Native Americans, or Indigenous Peoples in the United States are less likely to pursue STEM-related professions. How might we develop conceptual and methodological approaches to understand instructional differences between various undergraduate STEM programs that contribute to racial and social class disparities in psychological indicators of academic success such as learning orientations and engagement? Within social psychology, research has focused mainly on student-level mechanisms surrounding threat, motivation, and identity. A largely parallel literature in sociology, meanwhile, has taken a more institutional and critical approach to inequalities in STEM education, pointing to the macro level historical, cultural, and structural roots of those inequalities. In this paper, we bridge these two perspectives by focusing on critical faculty and peer instructor development as targets for inclusive STEM education. These practices, especially when deployed together, have the potential to disrupt the unseen but powerful historical forces that perpetuate STEM inequalities, while also positively affecting student-level proximate factors, especially for historically marginalized students.

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          Most cited references94

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          Stereotype Threat and Women's Math Performance

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            A threat in the air. How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance.

            C Steele (1997)
            A general theory of domain identification is used to describe achievement barriers still faced by women in advanced quantitative areas and by African Americans in school. The theory assumes that sustained school success requires identification with school and its subdomains; that societal pressures on these groups (e.g., economic disadvantage, gender roles) can frustrate this identification; and that in school domains where these groups are negatively stereotyped, those who have become domain identified face the further barrier of stereotype threat, the threat that others' judgments or their own actions will negatively stereotype them in the domain. Research shows that this threat dramatically depresses the standardized test performance of women and African Americans who are in the academic vanguard of their groups (offering a new interpretation of group differences in standardized test performance), that it causes disidentification with school, and that practices that reduce this threat can reduce these negative effects.
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              A question of belonging: race, social fit, and achievement.

              Stigmatization can give rise to belonging uncertainty. In this state, people are sensitive to information diagnostic of the quality of their social connections. Two experiments tested how belonging uncertainty undermines the motivation and achievement of people whose group is negatively characterized in academic settings. In Experiment 1, students were led to believe that they might have few friends in an intellectual domain. Whereas White students were unaffected, Black students (stigmatized in academics) displayed a drop in their sense of belonging and potential. In Experiment 2, an intervention that mitigated doubts about social belonging in college raised the academic achievement (e.g., college grades) of Black students but not of White students. Implications for theories of achievement motivation and intervention are discussed. 2007 APA, all rights reserved

                Author and article information

                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                30 May 2022
                : 13
                : 754233
                [1] 1D-Lab, University of California, Berkeley , Berkeley, CA, United States
                [2] 2Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley , Berkeley, CA, United States
                [3] 3School of Information, University of California, Berkeley , Berkeley, CA, United States
                [4] 4Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley , Berkeley, CA, United States
                [5] 5Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley , Berkeley, CA, United States
                Author notes

                Edited by: Adrian Castro-Lopez, University of Oviedo, Spain

                Reviewed by: Marlee Spafford, University of Waterloo, Canada; Erick Jones, University of Texas at Arlington, United States; Robin Cresiski, University of Maryland, Baltimore, United States; Hideyuki Kanematsu, National Institute of Technology, Suzuka College, Japan

                *Correspondence: David J. Harding, dharding@ 123456berkeley.edu

                This article was submitted to Personality and Social Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Copyright © 2022 von Vacano, Ruiz, Starowicz, Olojo, Moreno Luna, Muzzall, Mendoza-Denton and Harding.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 06 August 2021
                : 04 May 2022
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 99, Pages: 14, Words: 12626
                Original Research

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                faculty development,stem,culturally responsive teaching,teacher professional development,peer to peer,multicultural education,liberation pedagogy


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