How Increasing Equity in the Science Classroom Drives Social Change

How Increasing Equity in the Science Classroom Drives Social Change

On Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019, Dr. Cissy Ballen addressed how certain features of the introductory science classroom create barriers for historically underserved students, supported by large-scale experimental and observational efforts across institution types and geographic regions.

This explanation for observed performance disparities, the “course deficit model”, considers the negative impact of environmental conditions on student learning and participation. Dr. Ballen demonstrated how some of these barriers can be mitigated by instructional and institutional choices that promote academic excellence for all students across science disciplines.

Guest speaker

Dr. Cissy Ballen

Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Auburn University

Dr. Ballen is an assistant professor of discipline-based education research in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University. Her interests broadly center on identifying scalable strategies in higher education that improve learning for all, and reducing attrition of historically underrepresented groups in life science fields. Prior to starting at Auburn, she completed postdoctoral research positions at Cornell University and University of Minnesota, studying the effects of high stakes assessment, support programs, teaching methods, and classroom culture on student performance and persistence in undergraduate biology. She completed a doctoral degree in evolutionary biology at the University of Sydney, Australia.