December 09, 2016 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Hartley Conference Room
Mitchell Earth Sciences, 397 Panama Mall, Stanford CA, 94305
Event Type: 

Hidden inequities in active learning classrooms: How groups of students are differentially impacted by active learning

VPTL Talk co-sponsored by WISE Ventures and the Department of Biology



In response to calls for implementing active learning in college-level STEM courses, classrooms across the country are being transformed from instructor centered to student centered. In these active-learning classrooms, the dynamics among students become increasingly important for understanding student experiences. We have explored the experiences of students in active learning classrooms and have found differences in their experiences based on their social identities. In this talk, I will discuss recent work examining the experiences of women and LGBTQIA students in active learning classrooms, including small group discussions. This work will hopefully help instructors to consider structuring their in-class activities in ways that promote equity, which may require more purposeful attention to alleviating the current differential student experiences with peer discussions.

Speaker Bio:

Sara Brownell is a neuroscientist turned full-time education researcher, who teaches undergraduate biology while researching ways to improve biology education. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Biology at Stanford and worked in Dr. Larry Steinman's neuroimmunology lab. Concurrently with her Ph.D. in Biology, she earned a M.A. in Education from the Stanford School of Education, working with Dr. Rich Shavelson. She initially started working on education research projects as part of a redesign of introductory lab courses in the Department of Biology at Stanford. She completed postdoctoral training in biology education research with Dr. Kimberly Tanner at San Francisco State University and Dr. Scott Freeman and Dr. Alison Crowe at the University of Washington. Now as an Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, she uses both qualitative and quantitative data to better understand how undergraduate biology students learn and how instructors can develop more effective ways to teach.

Brownell's interests in undergraduate biology education are broad, but her current work focuses on three main avenues. She is investigating the impact of undergraduate research experiences on students, specifically students enrolled in course-based research experiences. She is developing a programmatic assessment for biology majors that focuses on the core concepts of biology. She is also exploring issues related to access and equity in undergraduate biology, specifically the experiences of women, religious students, and LGBTQIA students.

December 9th, 2016 at 2:00 PM, Hartley Conference Room, Mitchell Earth Sciences Building.

Don't miss Dr. Brownell's first talk at 12:00 PM, to be followed by a reception from 1:30 - 2:00:
Opportunities and tension points associated with integrating teaching and research