Building students' science identity
This workshop session is designed to highlight strategies for infusing career information into our geoscience courses and for building our students' abilities to see themselves as future scientists. The strategies highlighted in these materials are applicable across all STEM disciplines. We borrowed the idea of using "scientist spotlights" from biology education research (see Schinske et al., 2015). The session consists of a presentation highlighting the lack of diversity in the geosciences and the key elements of building a science identity, followed by a gallery walk to share ideas and strategies for infusing career information into our courses and programs.
At the end of this session, participants will know about evidence-based strategies to
- Infuse career information in class, on-line, and outside of class;
- Develop our students' awareness of the breadth of careers in geoscience; and
- Help our students to identify as scientists.
Workshop session structure
When we used these materials in a workshop for geoscience faculty members (see the 2016 June Change Agents Workshop program), we structured the session as follows.
- We presented results for Google image searches of geoscientists, information about forming a science identity, and research results from Schinske et al.'s work with "scientist spotlights." This presentation reminded faculty participants about why many students don't "see themselves" as scientists and about what role faculty members can play in diversifying the geoscience workforce. It also set the stage for the gallery walk, which constituted the bulk of the workshop session.
- Presentation: Building a science identity and infusing geoscience career information throughout your teaching (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 14.7MB Nov1 18) - Jan Hodder and Eric Baer
- We engaged faculty members in a gallery walk exploring three pairs of questions:
- Science Identity questions:
- What can we do in class (seated or online) to develop science identity in our students?
- What can we do outside of class to develop science identity in our students?
- Science Self-Efficacy questions:
- What can we do in class (seated or online) to increase a student's science self- efficacy?
- What can we do outside of class to increase a student's science self-efficacy?
- Questions about what Geoscientists do:
- What can we do in class (seated or online) to develop an understanding of what a geoscientist does?
- What can we do outside of class to develop an understanding of what a geoscientist does?
We allotted an hour and ten minutes for this session.
Read more about building your students' science identity.
- Counter-stereotypical Geoscientist Career Spotlights (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 1014kB Oct24 18) developed by Jan Hodder, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, for the SAGE 2YC project
- Transverse Ranges: interview-format articles about individual geoscientists in all disciplines within geoscience. "tR is motivated to illuminate themes that connect us, celebrate our diversity, and shape the way we look at ourselves as a collective group of scientists."
- Women in Oceanography - A decade later. Oceanography 2014, v. 27, n.4 supplement.
- Ta-Shana Taylor, geologist, University of Miami: https://themarjorie.org/2018/02/17/floridawoman-ta-shana-taylor-lessons-for-inclusivity-in-geology-and-beyond/
Spotlights of scientists across STEM
- The Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers, from PBS
- This is What a Scientist Looks Like: http://lookslikescience.tumblr.com, especially the archive of photos: http://lookslikescience.tumblr.com/archive - scroll down to see an assortment of images
Alonzo M. Flowers III and Rosa Banda, 2016. Cultivating science identity through sources of self-efficacy. Journal for Multicultural Education, 10(3): 405-417. DOI 10.1108/JME-01-2016-001.
Rodriguez, Sarah L., Kelly Cunningham, and Alec Jordan, 2016. What a Scientist Looks Like: How Community Colleges Can Utilize and Enhance Science Identity Development as a Means to Improve Success for Women of Color. Community College Journal of Research and Practice. DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2016.1251354.
Schinske, J., Cardenas, M., and Kaliangara, J. 2015. Uncovering Scientist Stereotypes and their Relationships with Student Race and Student Success in a Diverse Community College Setting. CBE - Life Sciences Education 14 (3): 1-16.