Supplemental Instruction for Non-Science Majors Biology Students: Meanings and Influences on Science Identities for Women

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer M. Warner (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Heidi Carlone

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the meanings women make of their participation in a Supplemental Instruction (SI) program associated with a postsecondary non-majors biology course. Interview and survey data were utilized to determine why women attended SI, the affordances provided by regular SI participation, how women depicted the learning environment of SI, and how women described science as they experienced it in SI. Additional interviews were conducted with a sub-population of participants who regularly utilized SI to provide an understanding of the role SI participation played in terms of access to science identities for women who changed their majors, minors, or concentration within an education major to biology as a result of their experiences in non-majors biology and SI. The results of this study suggest that the SI experience provides more than just a means to increase grades for women who participate regularly. The supportive and safe climate of the SI environment set a comfort level for women that increased their competence and confidence in biology. The SI experience increased interest in biology and afforded the opportunity for women to be recognized by others, and to recognize themselves, for their science abilities. Additionally, for a small number of women, their experiences in non-majors biology and SI facilitated a shift in science identities that led the women to immigrate into science.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
meaning, women, participation, Supplemental Instruction (SI), postsecondary non-majors biology, increase grades, supportive, safe, climate, competence, confidence,
Self-perception in women $x Education (Higher)
Women college students.
Academic achievement.
Biology $x Education (Higher) $x Remedial teaching.
Compensatory education.
Prediction of scholastic success.

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