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Self and scientist: Diversity and students' images of scientists

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More information about the Scientist Spotlights intervention and its effects on students.

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Self and scientist: Diversity and students' images of scientists

  1. 1. SELF AND SCIENTIST: DIVERSITY AND STUDENTS’ IMAGES OF SCIENTISTS Heather Perkins
  2. 2. WOMEN IN STEM • Women are largely underrepresented in STEM • Even when women enter fields at similar rates as men, they… • Have less experience with the topics • Earn lower GPAs • Are more subject to attrition • Among the many factors at play, women consistently identify stereotypes as a major barrier to their success National Science Foundation & NationalCenter for Science and Engineering Statistics, 2015; Riegle-Crumb & King, 2010
  3. 3. STEREOTYPES IN STEM • Stereotype threat – impacts performance • Stereotypes of individuals’ abilities – impacts hiring and assessment • Stereotypes about scientists – impacts interest and persistence • Culture of brilliance – unclear, may impact admission, persistence, and evaluation Aronson, Fried, & Good, 2002; Johnson, Barnard-Brak, Saxon, & Johnson, 2012; Leslie, Cimpian, Meyer, and Freeland, 2015; Brickhouse & Potter, 2001; Margolis, Fisher, & Fisher, 1999
  4. 4. SELVES IN STEM • What is the ‘self’, or an identity? What are possible-selves? • How do selves and identities impact behavior? What happens when there is a conflict?
  5. 5. DIVERSE STORIES IN & OUT • The current project I’m working on starts in a community college classroom in California
  6. 6. DIVERSE STORIES IN & OUT • Analysis of writing shows emphasis on the paths scientists take • Life experiences and goals • Their traits, interests, and character • Presence of diversity and transformation
  7. 7. CHANGE STORIES, CHANGE SELVES • How do we build on this first study to diversify ideas about the self (both current and future)? • Looking at literature that discusses • Experiences in science classrooms at all levels • Influential factors in perceived value of schooling and science interest • Drawing on this research to create a scale that assess • Life experiences (particularly those that occurred in classrooms) • Career expectations and goals • Perceived skillsets and characteristics
  8. 8. CHANGE STORIES, CHANGE SELVES When I think about myself, I think I… • ...slacked off and didn't work hard during high school. • ...have parents who struggle to make ends meet. • …succeed because of hard work. • …succeed because I'm naturally intelligent.
  9. 9. CHANGE STORIES, CHANGE SELVES When I think about scientists, I think they… • …were involved in a lot of extracurricular activities as children. • …were known for being smart, even as children. • …work in environments where they can relax and enjoy themselves. • …sacrificed a lot just to get their degree, and even more to become successful.
  10. 10. CHANGE STORIES… “This article was interesting, actually, because Dr. Dubois is such a unique person. He was born and raised to be a farmer, and didn’t have very much money or aspiration beyond finishing high school and maybe attending college if he could. He found science completely by accident and fell in love […] It’s very impressive to see someone come from so traditionally unlikely a background and become so well-known for his work…”
  11. 11. …CHANGE SELVES “In some of the spotlights some scientists felt that they didn’t always want to pursue a career in science and that it just happens. I’m starting to feel the same way. I’m not originally a science major but I feel that I could have a future in it if I find the right field.”
  12. 12. REFERENCES Anthis, K. S., Dunkel, C. S., & Anderson, B. (2004). Gender and identity status differences in late adolescents’ possible selves. Journal of Adolescence, 27(2), 147–152. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2003.11.010 Aronson, J., Fried, C. B., & Good, C. (2002). Reducing the Effects of Stereotype Threat on African American College Students by ShapingTheories of Intelligence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38(2), 113–125. doi:10.1006/jesp.2001.1491 Brickhouse, N.W., & Potter, J.T. (2001).YoungWomen’s Scientifc Identity Formation in an Urban Context, 38(8), 965–980. Hermans, H. J. M., & Gieser,T. (2012). Handbook of Dialogical SelfTheory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Johnson, H. J., Barnard-Brak, L., Saxon,T. F., & Johnson, M. K. (2012). An Experimental Study of the Effects of Stereotype Threat and Stereotype Lift on Men andWomen’s Performance in Mathematics. The Journal of Experimental Education, 80(2), 137–149. doi:10.1080/00220973.2011.567312 Leslie, S.-J., Cimpian, A., Meyer, M., & Freeland, E. (2015). Expectations of briliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines. Science, 347(6219), 23–34. doi:10.1081/E-EWS Lips, H. M. (2004).The gender gap in possible selves: Divergence of academic self-views among high school and university students. Sex Roles, 50(5-6), 357–371. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:SERS.0000018891.88889.c9 Margolis, J., Fisher, A., & Fisher, F. (1999). Caring about connections: Gender and computing. IEEETechnology and Society Magazine, 18(14), 13–20. doi:10.1109/44.808844
  13. 13. REFERENCES McLean, K. C. (2008).The Emergence of Narrative Identity. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2, 1685–1702. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9004.2008.00124.x National Science Foundation, & National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. (2015).Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2015. Special Report NSF 15-311. Retrieved from http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/ Oyserman, D., & Destin, M. (2010). Identity-based motivation: Implications for intervention. TheCounseling Psychologist, 38(7), 1001–1043. doi:10.1177/0011000010374775 Oyserman, D., & Fryberg, S. (2006).The possible selves of diverse adolescents: Content and function across gender, race, and national origin. In PossibleSelves:Theory, Research and Applications (pp. 1–23). Pals, J. L. (2006a). Constructing the “Springboard Effect”: Causal connections, selfmaking, and growth within the life story. In D. P. McAdams, R. Josselson, & A. Lieblich (Eds.), Identity and Story: Creating Self in Narrative. Washington, D.C.:American Psychological Association. Pals, J. L. (2006b). Narrative identity processing of difficult life experiences: Pathways of personality development and positive self- transformation in adulthood. Journal of Personality, 74(4), 1079–1110. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2006.00403.x Riegle-Crumb,C., & King, B. (2010). Questioning aWhite MaleAdvantage in STEM: Examining Disparities inCollege Major by Gender and Race/Ethnicity. Educational Researcher, 39(9), 656–664. doi:10.3102/0013189X10391657 Schinske, J., Perkins, H., Snyder, A., &Wyer, M. (under review). Scientist Spotlight Homework Assignments Shift Students’ Stereotypes of Scientists and Enhance Diverse Introductory Science Class. CBE Life Sciences Education.

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