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Abstract Title: Intervening in status hierarchies to disrupt inequity in small groups
Abstract: In order to support equitable science education, it is vital to understand how in/equity arises in a classroom. Because power dynamics are inextricably linked to in/equity, we investigated the way in which student status hierarchies affect in/equity in small student groups. We conducted a mixed methods case study analysis of a small group of rising college freshmen participating in a summer science program for students with traditionally under-represented identities. Our case study covers six sessions of one small group. The analysis shows that overall the established status hierarchy of the group contributed to a pattern of inequitable student interactions. The only significant deviation from this pattern occurred when an instructor intervention disrupted the status hierarchy of the students, which resulted in greater equity for one session. These results suggest that instructor interventions can have a profound impact on student power dynamics and the quality of small group interactions.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A61
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Lily Payne
Grinnell College
and Co-Presenter(s)
Paul Hutchison, Grinnell College