Creating Inclusive Science Classrooms: Student Voices

Series: CTLT Institute

Event Date & Time

  • September 6, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Event Description

The student diversity initiative at UBC Science is aimed to focus on addressing equity, diversity and inclusion in science courses and curriculum through building capacity to sustain best practices and to build an inclusive campus culture. As a first and necessary step towards achieving this goal, we reached out to our students to better understand their diverse experiences in the Faculty of Science, particularly related to issues of support, access, and belonging.

We interviewed 13 undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science. Student interviewees were referred to us by faculty and staff, and characterised many intersecting axes of diversity and identity, representing a wide range of demographics and experiences (e.g., gender, ethnicity, age, LGBQ, religion, (dis)abilities, international, first-generation, mental health, and socioeconomic status). One hour semi-structured interviews were conducted during April-June 2019. Student responses were coded and analyzed for common themes and emerging recommendations. The recommendations were then grouped into three main categories: course-level, program-level and institution-level. Course level recommendations were further coded into the following categories: personal awareness, interpersonal interactions, curriculum & content, pedagogy, and support & access. Although a few of the recommendations are specific to science courses, a majority of the recommendations cut across the disciplines and thus are applicable to other contexts.

In this workshop we will share the recommendations that students generously shared with us for creating supportive, inclusive and equitable classroom environments, and will invite participants to discuss how these recommendations can be practically implemented within their own course context.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
– Select the student-generated recommendations that are most relevant to their own teaching context
– Identify any potential obstacles and challenges to effective implementation of their chosen recommendations
– Create ways to overcome identified obstacles and challenges to implementation
– Formulate an action plan for the successful implementation of chosen recommendations in their own teaching context


  • Christine Goedhart, PhD – Science Education Specialist, Department of Botany and Skylight
  • Gülnur Birol, PhD – Director, Skylight
  • Karen Smith, MA – Lecturer, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty Lead, Student Diversity Initiative in Science