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Thank you for visiting the Biology resource tab. On this page you can find links with detailed descriptions of the content offered by the article or website as well as a video from the recent Black in Microbiology meeting.
The role of teachers "in any context is to escape those constraints [of cultural boundaries and often cultural blindness] and to build awareness of their own cultural assumptions, stereotypes, and expectations of what is the norm, so that they can effectively teach those who do not share their own cultural terrain."
Includes strategies about changing language, being aware of student interactions, confronting stereotypes and expectations of students, and developing a climate of cooperation and community in the classroom. This paper includes several suggestions for implementing changes and examples of interaction patterns that can be improved upon.
This article addresses how STEM fields foster heteronormative environments and unfriendly climates regarding LGBTQ+ issues and identities. It provides recommendations for action items to make biology classroom, lab, and field environments more friendly in broad and context-dependent ways. Specific items include being aware and thoughtful about language, creating opportunities for people to describe who they are rather than assuming identities, and ways to conduct research in inclusive ways. It also includes a glossary of terms that can be helpful to those less familiar with the LGBTQ+ community. The paper also gives several examples of ways to create inclusive environments, as well as statements from several students about how certain experiences with these techniques were identity-affirming and made them feel safer.
The article not only offers teaching strategies to promote discussion and collaboration in the classroom, but also questions the way biology classrooms are structured to promote equity and accessibility of information. In order to incorporate and promote classroom equity, students' prior experience, attitudes, are “key variables in promoting learning of new ideas, biological or not.” In addition, the article defines what equity in the biology classroom could exist as: “Equity, then, is about striving to structure biology classroom environments that maximize fairness, wherein all students have opportunities to verbally participate, all students can see their personal connections to biology, all students have the time to think, all students can pose ideas and construct their knowledge of biology, and all students are explicitly welcomed into the intellectual discussion of biology.” It discusses how undergraduate students are often treated as similar to each other without acknowledging that they come from different backgrounds, and that student-centered teaching is beneficial especially in ways that reach all students, not just those who are already fully engaged.
This source includes information dealing with representation in biology in order to increase diversity and inclusion in ecology and evolution. Rather than an achievement gap, the researchers focus on an opportunity gap between over and underrepresented students in ecology and evolution. This work and the proposed assignment can personalize science and may help increase representation of scientists who have been historically (and currently) underrepresented even if the instructor is from the majority. The assignment uses “Scientist Spotlights” to introduce diverse scientists to students in the course, with a focus on their personal story above their science background. These assignments were found to increase students’ ability to relate to scientists, and qualitative responses found that students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM were able to better picture themselves as scientists in the present or future. Overall, this serves as a specific activity idea that would allow students to expand their knowledge of the existing science community and their future possibilities.
Black in Microbiology Keynote - Dr. Beronda Montgomery