Abstract

The purpose of this 3-phase transformative mixed-methods study was to use intersectionality theoretical framework to explore the science identities and relevant science learning experiences of male students of color (MSOCs) in STEM and their decisions to pursue science professions after college. Phase 1 utilized a researcher-developed survey to analyze differences in science identity scores (SIS), science relevancy scores (SRS), and decisions to pursue science professions of 702 diverse college students enrolled in STEM-related courses at a state college in Southeast United States. While there were no statistically significant differences in SIS and SRS scores regarding race/ethnicity or socioeconomic factors, statistical differences in SRS were present regarding gender. Female students had higher SRS than male students. When considering gender and socioeconomic level, a statistically significant interaction occurred across racial/ethnicity groups in SIS and SRS. Black and Hispanic males had higher SIS and SRS when at least one parent had a bachelor's degree. Phase 2 and 3 utilized interviews of five (MSOCs) from which these themes surfaced as largely shaping their decisions to pursue STEM fields: a) future-focus mindsets, b) connectedness to technology, engineering, and math, and c) science experiences and ideas. Students described the teacher's personality, the classroom environment, and the foundational characteristics of science as being critical components of relevant formal science learning experiences. Implications regarding what social justice looks like in the science classroom include1) the need to confirm SIS and SRS construct reliability from this survey instrument with a different population of diverse college students, 2) the important role science teachers and other educational stakeholders play in developing purposeful interactive instruction that adequately connects and prepares male learners for science professions, and 3) the intentional integration of real-world technology, engineering, and mathematics processes and resources in science curriculum and professional development for teachers of science.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Butler, Malcolm

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Community Innovation and Education

Department

School of Teacher Education

Degree Program

Education; Science Education

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008703;DP0025434

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0025434

Language

English

Release Date

August 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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