Correct perceptions, increase engagement

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Science  25 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6353, pp. 769-770
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6353.769-e

One way to increase the engagement of U.S. students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) would be to understand their perceptions of opportunities available in STEM and try to correct misconceptions. Brown et al. investigated U.S. student perceptions of communal engagement opportunities in STEM and compared them with those of Asian students. U.S. students perceived STEM as providing fewer communal opportunities and reported fewer communal experiences in STEM. When the U.S. students then read about the communally oriented work of a scientist, their beliefs and attitudes about STEM were affected, suggesting that the communal aspect was new information to them. Correcting perceptions about communal opportunities in STEM may provide a simple method for improving U.S. student engagement.

Soc. Psychol. Personal. Sci. 10.1177/1948550617703173 (2017).

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