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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2013004406
pages 359-375

K–12 TEACHERS: IMPORTANT BRIDGES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENTS

Sharon Fries-Britt
Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education, The University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Rebecca Villarreal
Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education, The University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Dora Elias McAllister
American Dental Education Association, Washington, DC 20005l
Tiffany Blacknall
The SEED Foundation, Washington, DC 20036

ABSTRACT

This paper is one product of a larger qualitative project to study underrepresented minority students majoring in physics and other related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Over the course of five years, 162 students at various points in their academic careers from multiple institutions participated in focus groups and interviews at national conference meetings. The study's 82 Black students informed this paper, examining their perceptions of the role and behaviors of their K–12 teachers in facilitating their confidence and ability to do math and science and to pursue STEM degrees. Four themes emerged: affirmation of students' abilities, validating teachers lead to motivated students, coping with invalidating experiences, and barriers and teachers as role models and mentors.


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