Math R&R Project: Recruitment and Retention through a Gender and Race Affirming Space
Qualitative research has documented the significance of counterspaces for successful students of color in STEM. These spaces allow students to affirm their identities and communities as they navigate racialized and gendered experiences in their education. This project investigates the benefits of engaging in critical consciousness conversations about race and gender in an undergraduate calculus summer workshop. The conversations aimed to: 1) empower students with language and tools to make sense of and navigate racialized and gendered experiences in being a STEM major; 2) understand the distinction between and importance of personal responsibility and institutional factors for their success in the major. Outcome measures include students’ GPA, persistence, and their self-efficacy. We found that the 32 students participants, most with underrepresented backgrounds, achieved a higher GPA and persisted to the Spring term at greater rates than those students from the comparison group. Students who participated in at least three of the five critical conversations experienced notably greater outcomes compared to those students who participated in one or two critical conversations. The aim of the project and the findings reported here align with the theme of disrupting injustice in the current mathematics education system and promoting a more humane mathematics education.
(Refreshments will be served.)