Making Science Personal: Inclusivity-Driven Design for General Education Courses

Christine O’Donnell, Edward E Prather, Peter Behroozi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


General education college astronomy courses offer instructors both a unique audience and a unique challenge. For many students, such a course may be their first time encountering a stand-alone astronomy class, and it is also likely one of the last science courses they will take. Thus, primary course goals often include both imparting knowledge about the Universe and giving students some familiarity with the processes of science. In traditional course environments, students often compartmentalize information into separate “life files” and “course files” rather than integrating information into a coherent framework. The astronomy course created through this project was designed around inclusivity-driven guiding principles that help students engage with course content in ways that are meaningful, relevant, and accessible. Our course bridges the gap between students’ “life files” and “course files,” encourages and respects diverse points of view, and empowers students to connect course content with their personal lives and identities. In this paper, we provide insight into the guiding principles that informed our course design and share research results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of College Science Teaching
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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