Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date





Science is a collaborative discipline that is best learned through discussion, experimentation and group activity. But several groups of students—particularly students of color, first generation college students and some international students— are often marginalized in our classrooms, labs and are left out of study groups. Their voices aren’t heard, their points of view and interpretations aren’t always appreciated and the learning of these students is thwarted. To address these issues, we have been involved in forming and designing two groups that have been functioning for the past two years: LEDS (Lawrentians Enhancing Diversity in the Sciences) and BioCore, a supplementary weekly curriculum of peer-led active learning for introductory biology. Explicit goals of both groups are: 1. Community building through group work in which everyone is on equal footing; 2. Empowering marginalized students through peer interaction, practice and leadership; and 3. Learning (by the majority community primarily in LEDS and by students who are marginalized in BioCore). We will describe the mission and curriculum of each group, provide data on the impact of each and will facilitate small group discussions of student stories concerning the effect of traditional pedagogy on marginalized students.

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