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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Black Girls Matter: An Ethnographic Investigation of Rural African-american Girls Experiencing a Specialized Stem High School for Gifted and Talented Students
by Hoyle, John Christian, Ph.D., University of South Alabama, 2018, 213; 10786688
Abstract (Summary)

High-ability adolescent African-American females from rural communities face many challenges when attempting to access science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career pathways. This research study focused on seven high-ability adolescent African-American females from rural communities who attended a public STEM-focused boarding high school in the southern United States.

This study used ethnographic methodology to examine race, gender, and giftedness together to explain how and why a selected population of seven African-American girls from rural environments who attended a southern, state-sponsored residential math and science high school successfully navigated STEM career trajectories. Despite encountering pervasive gender and racial discrimination, the young African-American women in this study persisted on STEM career trajectories because they were supported by a role model or mentor; accessed prolonged and meaningful exposure to STEM concepts, including attending a STEM-focused boarding school; and demonstrated a blend of resiliency, high self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-efficacy. Although the sample size is small, this research provides encouraging results that show young African-American women can successfully pursue STEM careers despite facing substantial barriers (English, Lambert, & Ialongo, 2016; Ghodsee, 2016).

This research is significant because high-ability African-American females represent an untapped opportunity to expand STEM employment in America. Expanding the contributions of young African-American women in STEM-related fields would also help safeguard the economic vitality of a robust STEM workforce.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Haneghan, James P. Van
Commitee: Allison, Elizabeth R., Johnson, Robert B., Lewis, Joe’l L., Van Haneghan, James P.
School: University of South Alabama
Department: College of Education
School Location: United States -- Alabama
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design
Keywords: African-American girls, High-ability, Rural, Stem
Publication Number: 10786688
ISBN: 978-0-355-84450-4
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