Examining the Impact of Classroom Group Identity Development in an Urban Science Classroom

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: Examining the Impact of Classroom Group Identity Development in an Urban Science Classroom
Stream: Assessment Theories & Methodologies
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Stefania Macaluso, Teachers College Columbia University, United States
Felicia Mensah, Teachers College Columbia University, United States


In this grounded theory study, we follow the cases of English Language Learners as they display both creativity and resilience in their science class. Both traditionally and historically, chemistry has been viewed as a challenging field of study, one promoting elite status stereotypes that often alienate and hamper students’ capacity for achievement in science. Especially now that we live in an era where collaborative group learning is emphasized and encouraged, particularly in urban classroom settings, it is critical to determine the effect group identity development has on students’ perceptions of themselves, their social groups, and the implications when learning science content. This research expands the current work in group memberships and social identity by utilizing an emergent model we are calling Classroom Group Identity or CGI, which stems from theories of social identity, interaction ritual chains, and communities of practice. By making the decision to structure the classroom as a space to foster creativity using various one single collectively functioning unit, this allows the teacher to maintain his/her traditional role as teacher but also be part of this local level social classroom group. Using the conceptual lens of classroom group identity, class surveys, interview transcripts, classroom observations, and classroom transcripts, a positive change in emotions was observed in the values, perceptions, and behaviors of these two students. In turn, CGI development influenced the construction of classroom leadership and trust in both marginalized female students and provided a means to encourage and support the learning of chemistry topics.

Virtual Presentation

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