Student identity drives perceptions of active learning pedagogies in biology classrooms


Posted on December 1, 2019 by Jeremiah Henning
Jeremiah Henning


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path model from Henning et al. 2019 Frontiers in Education exploring the relationship between student identity facets (left) and perceptions of active learning courses (right). Black lines indicate a positive relationship between identity component and perception of active learning pedagogy, while the red indicates a negative relationship. Main figure and explanation can be found within the main text.

New paper out of the Henning lab shows that facets of student identity are important drivers in how students perceive active learning activities within biology classrooms. Recent published in Frontiers in Education, Henning et al. surveyed 1300 undergraduate biology majors to understand how identity facets like gender, commuter status, sexual orientation, first-generation college student, religion, political affiliation, and cultural background, drove perceptions of peer-to-peer dynamics, peer-instructor dynamics, approaches to group work, and perceived cultural differences among students within biology courses. 
 
Researchers found that components of a student's identity has a strong tie to how they perceive within course activities and inclusivity of biology classrooms. However, researchers found that there was no single marginalized group that had negative interactions within biology courses, which suggests that using multiple pedagogical strategy and varied teaching styles within courses will ultimately create more inclusive classrooms for all students. 
 
The full, open-access article can be found here.
 


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