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RISE Center Seminars on Inclusion — Bryan Brown

Bryan Brown - Stanford University

Bryan Brown, Stanford University

Dr. Brown is a Professor of Science Education at Stanford University. Dr. Brown works in the Graduate School of Education and conducts research on language, culture and science teaching and learning.

Talk Title: "The meaning beyond the words: How language, race, and culture impact science teaching and learning"

This presentation explores how race, culture and language intersect to create the condition of contemporary learning. For years, research on the language of classrooms explored how the way we say things impacts students’ sense of belonging. Despite this research, STEM education has failed to adequately explore how issues of race, language and culture shape the outcomes of teaching and learning in science. Through a sequence of research, this presentation explores the theoretical and pragmatic aspects of this dilemma. From a theoretical perspective, the talk will explore the Language-Identity dilemma. As students learn, the way academic language is taught to them can present a cognitive and cultural conflict. From a cognitive perspective, if science is taught without respect to the implications of how language is learned, students can be misunderstood and misunderstand the teacher’s complex discourse. From a cultural conflict perspective, students may feel they are cultural outsiders when the language of the classroom positions them as outsiders. The presentation provides an overview of a series of qualitative and quantitative experiments that document the realities of this complex interaction.

About the series:
A call to action: Striving toward inclusion in academic biology

An initiative sponsored by the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) focused on promoting awareness, understanding and commitment to change academic biology environments to be more inclusive. We are excited that speakers will be compensated for their time and this event is co-sponsored by Arizona State University’s HHMI Inclusive Excellence Project, SEISMIC Collaboration and the ASU RISE Center. 

Research for Inclusive STEM Education Center
Sara Brownell