New Voices of Inquiry: How the Inclusive Classroom Catalyzes Innovative Research

Denny et al. / PS: Political Science & Politics / August 2022

The article demonstrates how a semester-long research endeavor, designed to teach upper-division undergraduates the basic tools in experimental design and statistical analysis, seeded novel research insights. First, the authors describe the project’s structure and its grounding in pedagogical best practices, particularly for first-generation learners. Second, they present data from four illustrative, student-designed experiments that highlight topics of interest to first-generation learners and where findings have the potential to advance political science conversations about race, public opinion, and policy. Results expand knowledge of within-group implicit biases, the effect of comparative context on public opinion, negative media portrayals of immigrants, and co-partisan support for immigration policies. Specifically, the authors show that colorism, including within the Hispanic community, affects perceptions of criminality, that presenting the US criminal legal system in a comparative context increases support for reform, and that source cues and imagery affect support for immigration policies, including among immigrant families.