Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education

Women’s Sense of Belonging in Undergraduate Calculus and the Influence of (Inter)Active Learning Opportunities

Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Volume 6, Issue 2, May 2023, pp. 65-82
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 519 DOWNLOADS: 419 Publication date: 15 May 2023
Women continue to be underrepresented in undergraduate STEM majors. Prior studies identify sense of belonging, or the extent to which one feels like an accepted member of an academic community, as a key contributor to women’s decisions to stick with or leave their STEM majors. Calculus can be an especially critical leak in the STEM pipeline, as is often seen as a gatekeeper course for STEM majors. Historically, Calculus instruction has been primarily lecture-based, though recently, efforts have shifted toward incorporating instruction that supports active learning. Prior studies have suggested that providing active learning opportunities may support students’ sense of belonging. However, there lacks consensus on the particular types of active learning opportunities that best support students. This mixed methods study investigates connections between women’s sense of belonging and the learning opportunities they experience during the first semester of a two-semester Calculus course designed to provide frequent active learning opportunities. Findings indicate a significant increase in sense of belonging, perceived competence, and social connectedness from Week 1 to Week 7 of the semester. Further, women overwhelmingly identified the interactive nature of group work and interactive lecture as supportive of their sense of belonging for both academic and social reasons.
calculus, gender, undergraduate education, sense of belonging
Griffin, C. R. (2023). Women’s Sense of Belonging in Undergraduate Calculus and the Influence of (Inter)Active Learning Opportunities. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 6(2), 65-82.
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