Literature Resources for Broadening Access to Science & Math

Stereotype Threat

Stereotype Threat: "The threat of being viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype, or the fear of doing something that would inadvertently confirm that stereotype." Research shows that when students felt they were being judged by stereotypes, they performed less well; this was found to be more true of higher-achieving students (from 1999 article below by Claude Steele).

G.L. Cohen, J. Garcia, N. Apfel and A. Master (2006). "Reducing the Racial Achievement Gap: A Social-Psychological Intervention" (Acrobat (PDF) 230kB Sep7 06), Science 313, p. 1307-1310. Listen to Sept. 1, 2006 Science Podcast

Michael Johns, Micheal, Schmader, Toni and Martens, Andy (2005). "Knowing is Half the Battle. Teaching Stereotype Threat as a Means of Improving Women's Math Performance", Psychological Science 16, p. 175-179.

Cohen, Geoffrey L. and Steele, Claude M. (2002). "A Barrier of Mistrust: How Negative Stereotypes Affect Cross-Race Mentoring". In Improving Academic Achievement, Chapter 15, Elsevier Science (USA).

Steele, Claude M. (1999). Thin Ice. "Stereotype Threat" and Black College Students, Atlantic Monthly 284 (2).

Steele, Claude (1997). "A Threat in the Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance" American Psychologist 52, 613-629.

Effective Work in Diverse Groups & Teams

Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, Penn State University, Puzzled About Teams, by Gill, Heermans, and Herath.

Larry K. Michaelsen, Arletta Bauman Knight, and L. Dee Fink, editors (2004). "Team-Based Learning: A Transformative Use of Small Groups in College Teaching". Stylus Publishing version .

Problem Solving

Asera, Rose, "Pipeline or Pipedream: Another Way to Think about Basic Skills", Carnegie Conversations, posted Aug. 14, 2006.

Science and math faculty interested in problem solving participated in a weekly lunch series of discussions in summer 2005. This series included visits and discussions with Erica Flapan (Math, Pomona College, more on her science problem solving course here) and Ken Heller (Physics, University of Minnesota, in the Physics Education Group ). Discussion centered on topics like the value of various problem types (well or ill-structured, data rich, etc.), problem design, how to effectively facilitate problem-solving in teams and groups, how to scaffold problem-solving processes into teaching and problem design, and more.

On teaching problem solving:

What Works for Under-Represented Students at Other Institutions

Biology Scholars, UC Berkeley
Cornell University Working Group (2006). Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in College Completion and Achievement: A Teagle Working Group on What Works and Why.

Gandara, Patricia, and Maxwell-Jolly, Julie "Priming the Pump: Strategies for Increasing the Achievement of Underrepresented Minority Undergraduates". The College Board (December 1999). The most recent review article on this topic.

Summers, Michael F. & Hrabowski III, Freeman A. "Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers" Science 311 (March 31, 2006). On the nationally recognized Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Matsui, John, Liu, Roger, and Kane, Caroline M. Evaluating a Science Diversity Program at UC Berkeley: More Questions Than Answers Cell Biology Education 2 pp. 117-121 (2003). On the nationally recognized Biology Scholars Program.

Fullilove, Robert E., and Philip Uri Treisman (1990). "Mathematics Achievement Among African American Undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley: An Evaluation of the Mathematics Workshop Program". Journal of Negro Education 59, 463-478.

Women in Science

Barres, Ben A. "Does Gender matter?" Nature 442, 133-136 (13 July 2006). Published online 12 July 2006. (Carleton online access through the Bridge at Gould Library).

Lederman, Doug (2006). The Real Barriers for Women in Science,, Sept. 19, 2006. (original report immediately below)

National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine (2006). Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering ( This site may be offline. ) (2006). Committee on Maximizing the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering & the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.

Degree Progress for Underrepresented Groups in STEM Fields

"Good News! A Record Number of Doctoral Degrees Awarded to African Americans" The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (2005).

"Black Student Graduate Rates Remain Low, But Modest Progress Begins to Show" (Acrobat (PDF) 2.9MB Aug3 06), Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. Winter 2005/2006.

The National Agenda

Alberts, Bruce, "A Wakeup Call for Science Faculty" Cell 123, December 2 (2005). Bruce Alberts, a biochemist, is the past President of the National Academy of Science; known as the"education president".


Seymour, E., & Hewitt, N.M. (1997). Talking about leaving: Why undergraduates leave the sciences. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Tinto, V. (1987, 1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.