Changing Social Contexts to Foster Equity in College Science Courses: An Ecological-Belonging Intervention

Kevin R. Binning, Nancy Kaufmann, Erica M. McGreevy, Omid Fotuhi, Susie Chen, Emily Marshman, Z. Yasemin Kalender, Lisa Limeri, Laura Betancur, Chandralekha Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In diverse classrooms, stereotypes are often “in the air,” which can interfere with learning and performance among stigmatized students. Two studies designed to foster equity in college science classrooms (Ns = 1,215 and 607) tested an intervention to establish social norms that make stereotypes irrelevant in the classroom. At the beginning of the term, classrooms assigned to an ecological-belonging intervention engaged in discussion with peers around the message that social and academic adversity is normative and that students generally overcome such adversity. Compared with business-as-usual controls, intervention students had higher attendance, course grades, and 1-year college persistence. The intervention was especially impactful among historically underperforming students, as it improved course grades for ethnic minorities in introductory biology and for women in introductory physics. Regardless of demographics, attendance in the intervention classroom predicted higher cu
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1070
JournalPsychological Science
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

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