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Open Access Publications from the University of California

This is a section of Leaders in Effective and Inclusive STEM: Twenty Years of the Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators, edited by Scott Seagroves, Austin Barnes, Anne J. Metevier, Jason Porter, & Lisa Hunter. See the introduction for a more complete discussion and outline.

Articles on diversity, equity, and inclusion:

In the ISEE PDP, social justice for groups that are marginalized in STEM was first addressed in the “diversity and equity” strand; later we renamed that part of our work the “equity and inclusion” theme. This section features two articles on these issues, following the previous article on DEI professional development, and leading into the first article of the next section on internships.

  • Christine O'Donnell's contribution compares the equity and inclusion focus areas from ISEE’s PDP with the well-known culturally responsive and culturally relevant frameworks from the K–12 context.
  • An article led by Nicholas Santiago details how a suite of science workshops for college transfer students was designed with a focus on promoting the learners’ science identities, in an effort to support students who may have backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM fields.
Cover page of Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education: A Re-Examination of the ISEE Equity & Inclusion Theme

Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education: A Re-Examination of the ISEE Equity & Inclusion Theme


The lack of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a complex problem, and one dimension is the experiences that students from marginalized groups often have in classroom environments. Students cite their struggles to negotiate between their own cultures and STEM’s cultures as a reason for why they do not feel a sense of belonging and identity as a person in STEM. To address these challenges, educators and researchers have proposed various frameworks to transform education. In this article, I re-examine the ISEE Equity & Inclusion (E&I) Theme in comparison to culturally relevant pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching models. While these frameworks have many common elements, including their emphasis on students’ achievements, building on students’ cultural assets, and providing scaffolding for content and practices, they differ in their focus on cultural pride and identities of critical consciousness. Drawing on these differences, I suggest directions for instructors who are familiar with the ISEE E&I Theme on how to make their approach to equity and inclusion more robust.

Cover page of Utilizing Equitable and Inclusive Design Principles to Promote STEM Identity of Community College Transfer Students

Utilizing Equitable and Inclusive Design Principles to Promote STEM Identity of Community College Transfer Students


Research suggests that developing an identity as a person in STEM is necessary for learners from marginalized groups to persist in STEM education and careers. These learners may perceive that their race, gender, or other characteristics make it difficult for their peers and supervisors to recognize them as scientists or engineers, thus disrupting their ability to maintain successful degree progress and to pursue their STEM career aspirations. Here we discuss the specific ways we designed inquiry workshops to not only clarify difficult core STEM content, but to also promote learners’ competence, performance, and targeted recognition as scientists. Our workshops were designed for students interested in chemistry, climate science, physics, and toxicology at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), Workshops for Engineering & Science Transfers (WEST) 2019 program. In designing our workshops, we focused on promoting the scientific identities of our learners by incorporating authentic ways for students to receive recognition from both peers and instructional facilitators, as well as allowing students to tap into their own personal interests and values. Insights from our designed assessments for learners’ understanding of our content demonstrate the success of our initiatives and provide further areas of improvement. Our goals are to create inclusive workshops to support students from all backgrounds, with emphasis on underrepresented backgrounds (community college, first generation, students of color, women, and LGBTQ+ students, etc.) as well as support them in other contexts, such as when mentoring STEM students in academic laboratory settings.