The Office of Faculty Development

The Anti-Racist STEM Classroom

This Teaching guide was designed as a STEM specific add-on to the more general teaching guide. Please read through the Teaching Guide “Creating Anti-Racist Classrooms” first.

In STEM, we often think of our classroom as an objective place filled with objective theorems and laws removed from the social teachings of other disciplines. Even though the scientific method strives to be an objective process of discovery and understanding, science as an endeavor is subjected to societal influences. As an example, those who get credited for discoveries in our classrooms often become the recognizable faces representing STEM. When we only choose faces of Europeans, this subconsciously creates a model scientist that isn’t representative of many of us who are interested in pursuing STEM careers. This subconscious “othering” reduces minoritized student’s sense of belonging, STEM identity, and confidence and can have drastic negative impacts on our scientific advancements in the long run.

As we know, many issues are systemic and beyond our control as educators; however, studies have shown our pedagogical choices can still make a large impact at a classroom level. Additionally, none of us created this issue but it is up to us to recognize the mistakes made by previous generations and educate ourselves about anti-racist STEM teaching practices.

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