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Encouraging Women and Minorities in the Classroom FHSS College May 2014 Rebecca de Schweinitz.

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Presentation on theme: "Encouraging Women and Minorities in the Classroom FHSS College May 2014 Rebecca de Schweinitz."— Presentation transcript:

1 Encouraging Women and Minorities in the Classroom FHSS College May 2014 Rebecca de Schweinitz

2 “We do not all live in the same America.” “In fact, some of of our Americas [BYU/classroom experiences] directly contradict one another.” –Faith Ruffins -Be self-critical -Understand relationship between intent and impact -Recognize your own social identity and how it may affect students -Reflect on how your own experiences as a student inform your teaching and what that means for your students  Research Findings and Patterns  Practical Applications  Conscientization –Paulo Freire

3 Minority Students: Social Integration and Academic Success -feelings of isolation or not belonging influence minority student performance and persistence -BYU Demographics: -learning hinges on student experiences inside and outside the classroom -constantly encounter numerous threatening experiences/campus environment hostile -stereotypes -mechanisms for coping with prejudice -do not have same structural support as nonminority students or perception of support -relationships between social and academic experiences -more likely 1 st generation, financial need -different norms of interaction (cultural capital) -students positioned differently to each other and to the knowledge being acquired

4 All alike unto God -be aware of and question biases (your own and students’) -watch stereotyping, “othering,” and connotations -don’t ask minority students to speak for the race -be a “powerful supporter” and get students on board -consider course content, perspectives, voices, examples -provide external support and encouragement (make structural) -don’t avoid issues, prepare students

5 Gender and the Classroom -student classroom behavior is different with a man or a woman as a professor -female students more active with instructors of the same gender and have higher perceptions of themselves -male and female professors both more likely to call on male students (all professors demonstrate gender biases) -mixed class vs. majority female or single-sex classroom differences (“critical mass”) -interruption, gender runs, bursts, volume, hesitant, one-time contributors -participatory, egalitarian style v. more aggressive, competitive (& content shifts) -gendered approval/evaluation discrepancies from peers and professors -for female students, praise and perceptions of a supportive environment matter significantly (female students are more likely to cite the positive influence of a teacher as a factor in their interest/success)

6 The Confidence Gap -BIG gender differences in self-perception that have nothing to do with competence -women underestimate their abilities and play down accomplishments, men overestimate -women assume blame (internalize), men externalize -women and perfectionism -socialization and early childhood development, brain function, hormones (but plasticity) -cyclical nature of confidence, action, and success -social penalties for assertive women -women begin to step back early -BYU/LDS culture

7 Free to Be -be aware of subtle and even unconscious gender dynamics and biases (and correct) -strive for equity in participation, develop strategies for involving more students (“shy” students=confidence gap and class dynamics) -use gender sensitive material, address gender issues and incorporate women’s voices in content -share your own triumphs and weaknesses -recognize cultural constraints, “lean in” -encouragement, encouragement, encouragement (make it systemic)


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