The Twitter conversation branched from multiple roots. On June 7, Eric Kelderman, reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, sent out a critical tweet of a female academic who responded to his media inquiry by suggesting that he should have used “Professor” or “Doctor” (the tweet has since been deleted). The next day, a doctor from the U.K., David Naumann, criticized doctors, medical or otherwise, who use their title in a nonprofessional setting. And a few days later the Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, announced revised style guidelines wherein only medical doctors would be referred to using “Dr.”, a convention that is already used most of the time by the Associated Press and news outlets that follow AP Style (including KQED). What followed was an explosion of opinions and experiences revolving around titles, expertise, and gender and racial bias.
Thankfully, after many years, the chief diversity officer (CDO) position is getting its due on college campuses. Institutions have come to realize just how critical a CDO is to getting things done regarding diversity and inclusion as well as to legitimizing these efforts in the eyes of constituents.
In the last few years, there has been a push to get more kids interested in STEM subjects from an early age. That’s understandable, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that we will need one million more STEM professionals through 2025 than our colleges will train. Girls especially are unconsciously conditioned to lose confidence in these subjects, resulting in a large gender gap in many STEM fields. Despite the success of many programs for youth to encourage participation in STEM, problems in these fields persist.
In order to make a STEM education a force for good in our world, and help students to solve social and economic problems, we need to understand the role of empathy in STEM curriculums.
Performance gaps in science are well documented, and an examination of underlying mechanisms that lead to underperformance and attrition of women and underrepresented minorities (URM) may offer highly targeted means to promote such students. Determining factors that influence academic performance may provide a basis for improved pedagogy and policy development at the university level. We examined the impact of class size on students in 17 biology courses at four universities. Although the female students underperformed on high-stakes exams compared with the men as class size increased, the women received higher scores than the men on nonexam assessments. The URM students underperformed across grade measures compared with the majority students regardless of class size, suggesting that other characteristics of the education environment affect learning. Student enrollment is expected to increase precipitously in the next decade, underscoring the need to prioritize individual student potential rather than yield to budget constraints when considering equitable pedagogy and caps on classroom sizes.
I’ll get right to the point, because I know you don’t have much time. A new semester is looming, and you are overwhelmed. It could be because you’re early in your teaching career and still feeling your way. Or it could be related to the impossible amount of work you are facing, as teaching loads grow ever heavier. But some of it arises from a common problem that you can help to alleviate yourself: You are overpreparing for class.