Whose voice can you hear? Issues of Power in Classroom Discourse

Allison Theobold Speaker
Cal Poly
Wednesday, Aug 9: 9:35 AM - 9:55 AM
Invited Paper Session 
Metro Toronto Convention Centre 
For nearly two decades active learning has been elevated by statistics educators as a critical component of the statistics classroom. Yet, these conversations have yet to acknowledge how group collaborations fall prey to issues of status. Fights over who gets to speak and whose words are recognized are indicative of power and status, where students with higher status are positioned as credible sources of information, gain and maintain the conversational floor, and have their ideas attended to. Through the lens of group discourse, researchers have demonstrated how the gendered and racial microaggressions students face oppress their opportunity to learn and squelch the development of their mathematical identity, a substantial determinant of their persistence within the discipline. If we hope for statistics and data science to be diverse, every student needs to feel they belong within the discipline. In this presentation, I will describe pedagogical tools which actively challenge systems of power in the classroom, creating a more equitable environment for collaborative group work, describing my experiences implementing these tools in an introductory data science course.