Struggles of Underrepresented Girls as They Become Women: Understanding How Race & Gender that Impact Personal Science Identity Construction

Donna Farland-Smith


This article looks broadly at the critical aspects involved in the “struggle” on different phases of one’s academic life in order to observe how underrepresented girls take a variety of experiences with scientists and internalize them into their personal science identities. Some of the central struggles discussed are perceptions of scientists at crucial developmental times in relation to formal schooling. How do underrepresented girls feel in the science classroom? How do underrepresented girls feel with a teacher who is not their same race? Or a school that is dominated by white students and white teachers? How do underrepresented feel when textbooks favor White scientists and their accomplishments? An analysis about the understanding of how girls interpret “the struggles” at varying points of their lives introduces the importance of a multidimensional approach to understanding student perceptions of scientists and science is presented. This chapter will also the power of role models as a means of embracing the struggles underrepresented girls go through. As girls experience mentor scientists to shape their perception of those who pursue careers in science and what it is that scientists do.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Donna Farland-Smith

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Journal of Educational Issues  ISSN 2377-2263


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