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Abstract Title: Legacy of the Pale Blue Dot: Can introductory astronomy experiences impact mindset and self-efficacy?
Abstract: As Carl Sagan observed, learning astronomy can be "humbling and character-building." Can it also help students overcome self-doubts---including those arising from stereotype threat---by providing perspective? We conducted a study of self-reported student experiences in a large-enrollment general-education astronomy course. Volunteers completed an initial survey probing self-efficacy, perceived academic control, and growth mindset; a short survey after each lecture probing attitude changes; and a repeat of the initial survey. We identified the content and activities associated with the most impactful class meetings. Specific days were clearly unusually impactful; these generally corresponded to course content emphasizing the spatial and temporal scales of the universe, addressing our place in the universe, or connecting to students' personal experiences. Nevertheless, we found no significant changes in or correlations with self-efficacy, perceived academic control, or growth mindset.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: 2.H5

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Lindsay House
University of North Carolina Greensboro
Phone: 8285459275
and Co-Presenter(s)
Alicia N. Aarnio, University of North Carolina Greensboro
Ian D. Beatty, University of North Carolina Greensboro