You Belong @ MIT

Published in MIT News on May 12, 2017, by Maisie O'Brien, MindHandHeart Initiative

A new initiative developed by the Teaching and Learning Lab is designed to increase students’ sense of academic belonging.

“Wait a minute… I’m the only female in this class!” realizes the engineering student in the cartoon, sandwiched beside her two male classmates. She shakes nervously, hands clenched, considering the responsibility of “representing all of womankind” before collapsing face-down on her desk. “Ditz” and “Psycho” thought bubbles appear above her smirking classmates’ heads.

So began the kickoff event in the You Belong @ MIT interactive seminar by Catherine Good, an associate professor of psychology at Baruch College of the City University of New York, senior research scientist at Turnaround for Children, and expert in the field of academic belonging. Participants in Good’s April 4th seminar debated the meaning and implications of this cartoon by Jorge Cham of The Stanford Daily. Organized by the MIT Teaching and Learning Lab, with support from the MindHandHeart Innovation Fund, the event was part of a three-phase initiative to increase students’ sense of academic belonging...

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