Improving skills to address diversity, equity, and inclusion: Lessons from evaluation of an NSF funded NAGT facilitator workshop

Thursday 3:30pm

Authors

Bonita Flournoy, Carleton College
Ellen Iverson, Carleton College
Catherine Riihimaki, 2NDNATURE Software Inc.
Faculty professional development can play a role in encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the classroom and contribute to the retention and mentoring of diverse faculty. In May of 2021, the virtual workshop Toward a More Equitable Geoscience engaged facilitators from the three NAGT workshops: Early Career, Preparing for an Academic Career, and the Traveling workshop program. The workshop used readings, scenarios, and role-playing to increase knowledge and facilitation skills specific to navigating conversations related to DEI and creating action plans to further address content for each NAGT workshop. The 25 facilitators who completed the end-of-workshop survey expressed high satisfaction (9.7 of 10), finding value in improving practice through scenario-based interactions and creating action plans.
In the winter of 2021, a qualitative study was conducted through focus groups and interviews involving seven facilitators to ascertain any perceived changes related to DEI in their facilitation skills, in the NAGT programs, and in their professional lives. Using thematic analysis of transcripts provided a narrative of the engagement and learnings and how facilitators position and navigate their teaching, facilitation, career preparation, and readiness through the lens of DEI. The evaluation found that facilitators were at a point in their careers where they see themselves as possessing some tools to diagnose and address their audiences. The DEI workshop provided facilitators with insights mostly from sharing experiences with their peers about having hard conversations with their home institution faculty. They plan to share these strategies with future NAGT workshop participants, and to be more intentional with addressing the needs of who is in courses they teach at their own institutions, and when they lead workshops. For future professional development, facilitators desired advanced level workshops in having hard conversations, how to address micro-aggressions, and how to have broader impact on the geoscience community.