The literature suggests that peer-led, small-group learning in the STEM disciplines is particularly beneficial to underrepresented students. In this paper, we explore possible reasons for this differential benefit by examining the Gateway Science Workshop program.
We discuss factors previously identified as important for minority students' successes in conjunction with interview and focus group data from participants in the program.
Taken as a whole, this information suggests that peer-led, small-group learning programs can help counteract some of the barriers to successful learning common to all undergraduates but particularly detrimental to the performance of underrepresented students.
Finally, we offer suggestions for implementing critical qualities of peer-led small-group programs in large lecture classes.
Micari, M., & Drane, D. (2007). Promoting success: Possible factors behind achievement of underrepresented students in a peer-led small-group STEM workshop program. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 13(3), 279–293. See publisher’s website.
This project is part of more than 10 years of research on the Gateway Science Workshop program at Northwestern.