Ideological Awareness in introductory biology.

Dominant ideologies and paradigms inform approaches to science and practice. How scientists conduct research is determined by their ideological stance. Ideological awareness (IA) is an understanding of biases, stereotypes, and assumptions that shape contemporary and historical science. In collaboration with researchers from South Alabama and Tuskegee University, we are interested in how contextualizing societal and ethical considerations into biology curricula impact student experiences and learning. A 3-year NSF grant will support our efforts to address this research!

Headlines for this topic:

The NSF DataVersify team in DC! We’ve been meeting fortnightly since 2018 over zoom, and are together for the first time to discuss next steps and big ideas.

We are at the NSF Summit for the Improvement of Undergraduate STEM Education in Washington DC this week – connecting with colleagues (IRL!) and presenting progress on our DataVersify project!

Robin Costello presents a poster showing the impacts of diversified and humanized role models on student attitudes and interest in science careers.

^Several years ago in a massive lecture hall at UMN that seats 700 students!

Cissy visited the Department of Biology Teaching & Learning last week at the University of Minnesota to discuss recent research from the lab. It was so wonderful sharing ideas and catching up with the department!

Cissy delivered a virtual seminar on inclusive representation of scientists in biology to the Department of Botany at the University of Wyoming!

Received official award notice from the NSF about our Improving Undergraduate STEM Education grant! This kicks off 3 yrs of research exploring ideological awareness in bio classrooms with soon-to-be postdoc Abby Beatty, Jeremiah Henning, & alongside students and bio instructors!

We were awarded a “Supported Preliminary Awards for Research Collaboration” (SPARC) Grant through the NSF-funded iEMBER network, led by postdoc Abby Beatty. This funding will bring together folks from institutions across Alabama to conduct research.

Our “Fostering Ideological Awareness In Postsecondary Biology” collaborative earned an iEMBER Inclusive Teaching and Research Project Idea Award. This project is led by Abby Beatty and in collaboration with Jeremiah Henning (South Alabama), Sheritta Fagbodun (Tuskegee University), Randy Klabacka (AU), and Kimberly Mulligan (AU). Way to go team!

How students relate to scientists impacts student retention: A $1 million NSF funds a study to examine data literacy instruction with direct connection to STEM. Lab members Emily Driessen and Cissy Ballen in COSAM News! See the full story here.