Cultivating a more inclusive pedagogy: analysis of faculty responses to the Chance at Birth activity

Eliza Clarke


There is a disproportionate lack of minority students along with minority representation in STEM today. Studies have shown that minority students tend to stray from STEM majors not due to the difficulty of the material, but because they do not feel a sense of belonging in these fields. Our study shines a light on the ways in which previously naive faculty immediately respond to highlighting differences in privilege and can be used to inform how inclusive teaching faculty development is enacted and built upon. Participants filled out papers with 25 questions about their lives underlining “step forward” or “step backward” depending on the question. They then traded papers to walk in someone else’s shoes taking steps forward and backward based on the answers from the sheet they were given. After the activity participants give feedback on their experience. Participants are asked to write brief reflections explaining their reactions to the activity (Dewsbury 2020). Overall, the reflections of the participants in the CAB activity contained themes pertaining to a general perspective taking of race and ethnicity and not deep introspection. Differences however were observed when participants were disaggregated by ethnicity. Participants from minoritized backgrounds were more likely to reflect on personal and historical experiences as part of their writing. Our results suggest that in the context of faculty development, this activity is more appropriately a first step in a long journey of new awareness for participants thinking about the relationship of equity and education.