Building Evidence Connecting Teaching Practices and More Equitable Student Outcomes (Continuously Updated)

Note: This post will be continuously updated as I gather more research. Also see this other post about research that provides more nuance on how active learning doesn't always guarantee more equitable outcomes. In their paper “Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics,” Freeman, et al., suggest that we are seeing a… Continue reading Building Evidence Connecting Teaching Practices and More Equitable Student Outcomes (Continuously Updated)

Growth Mindset and Learning about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Why is it so hard for people to talk and learn about equity, diversity, and inclusion? In this post I argue that part of the answer is that many people have a fixed mindset when it comes to learning about these things. Carol Dweck's work on fixed and growth mindset helps to explain why people react… Continue reading Growth Mindset and Learning about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Necessity of Encouragement and Positive Feedback

According to John Gottman, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington, couples in a close relationship need to have 5 times as many positive interactions than negative ones for the relationship to remain stable. Couples for whom this ratio of positive to negative interactions is less than 5 are more likely to split up… Continue reading The Necessity of Encouragement and Positive Feedback

Growth is Uncomfortable

Today, in our Claremont Colleges Center for Teaching and Learning Book Club meeting, my colleague Kathy Van Heuvelen shared with us a great analogy relating to the current controversy about "safe spaces" in college classrooms: Good athletes know their bodies well enough to know the difference between soreness and injury. Soreness is a sign that you've… Continue reading Growth is Uncomfortable

Some probability problems for your consideration

As I was preparing this tweet on AMS prizes given at the 2016 Joint Mathematics Meetings... ...I checked the AMS Annual Survey of the Mathematical Sciences to determine that in 2015 roughly 30% of full-time faculty in the mathematical sciences were female. Then, I wrote and did the following math problem: Question #1: Suppose that 20 people… Continue reading Some probability problems for your consideration

Institutional and Personal Roadblocks to Implementing Active Learning

As I posted last October, the evidence in support of the benefits of active learning for student learning is very robust. The CBMS put out a strong statement advocating for "institutions of higher education, mathematics departments and the mathematics faculty, public policy-makers, and funding agencies to invest time and resources to ensure that effective active… Continue reading Institutional and Personal Roadblocks to Implementing Active Learning

Promoting a Culture of Assets Instead of Deficits

There is a pervasive culture of deficit in the education world when it comes to talking about or working with certain groups of students. In this post, I'd like to highlight the ways that deficit thinking enters into our language and institutional efforts to broaden participation. I'll end with a great activity called the Community… Continue reading Promoting a Culture of Assets Instead of Deficits