Guideline:  Students with a sense of belonging feel accepted, respected, and valued by their peers and instructors and can engage more fully in learning.

“…when students enter settings in which their group is underrepresented and negatively stereotyped, they contend with psychological challenges that other students do not face. They must make sense of daily adversities, which could seem to signal a global lack of belonging, and they contend with high levels of stress and threat.”

Walton, G. M., Logel, C., Peach, J. M., Spencer, S. J., & Zanna, M. P. (2015). Two brief interventions to mitigate a “chilly climate” transform women’s experience, relationships, and achievement in engineering. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(2), 468-485.

“…this study has revealed evidence that a sense of belonging cultivated in a class is strongly related to the way students feel, how hard they try, and how willing they are to participate in class.”

Wilson, D., Jones, D., Bocell, F., Crawford, J., Kim, M. J., Veilleux, N., … Plett, M. (2015). Belonging and Academic Engagement Among Undergraduate STEM Students: A Multi-institutional Study. Research in Higher Education, 56(7), 750-776.

“…a message of expandable versus fixed ability may have a role to play in fostering a sense of belonging to academics and reducing the harmful effects of stereotypes.”

Good, C., Rattan, A., & Dweck, C. S. (2012). Why do women opt out? Sense of belonging and women's representation in mathematics. Journal of personality and social psychology, 102(4), 700.


Additional references

Inzlicht, M. & Good, C. (2006) How environments can threaten academic performance, self-knowledge, and sense of belonging. In S. Levin & C. van Laar (Eds.), Stigma and Group Inequality: Social Psychological Perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Leslie, S.-J., Cimpian, A., Meyer, M., & Freeland, E. (2015). Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines. Science, 347(6219), 262.

Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). A question of belonging: race, social fit, and achievement. Journal of personality and social psychology, 92(1), 82.

Walton, G. M., & Cohen, G. L. (2011). A Brief Social-Belonging Intervention Improves Academic and Health Outcomes of Minority Students. Science, 331(6023), 1447.


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