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Hoping for the Unexpected: African American Women as STEM Educators

Black Female Undergraduates on Campus: Successes and Challenges

ISBN: 978-1-78052-502-0, eISBN: 978-1-78052-503-7

ISSN: 1479-3644

Publication date: 11 January 2012

Abstract

Increasing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce is a national priority. This discourse recognizes that everyone who graduates from college must first have highly qualified teachers all along the elementary and secondary pipeline. Therefore, considerable attention is given to STEM educators. Like those who enter STEM disciplines with the intention of enjoying successful careers as practitioners, there are those who value the profession of teaching. The same problem with swelling the presence of skilled STEM practitioners is apparent in swelling the presence of STEM educators. In both cases, these small populations are not diverse; women of color are woefully underrepresented. Given the age when demands of professional accountability are excessive (even punitive), electing a career in education is not generally a first choice. Nonetheless, there are women of color who not only choose to teach, but also choose to teach in the some of the most cognitively challenging content areas. This chapter used qualitative research methods to understand how African American female undergraduate student come to select and persist in a STEM teacher preparation program.

Citation

Lee, W.Y., Guyden, J.A. and Gayle Harris Watkins, P. (2012), "Hoping for the Unexpected: African American Women as STEM Educators", Renée Chambers, C. and Vonshay Sharpe, R. (Ed.) Black Female Undergraduates on Campus: Successes and Challenges (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 219-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3644(2012)0000012014

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited