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

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN En Línea: 1940-431X

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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v11.i3.20
pages 231-246

BRIDGING DIFFERENCES: HOW SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND RACIAL DIVERSITY MATTER IN A GIRLS' TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

Linda S. Kekelis
Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, CA 94619
Rebecca Wepsic Ancheta
Rebecca Ancheta Research
Etta Heber
Chabot Space & Science Center
Jeri Countryman
Chabot Space & Science Center

SINOPSIS

In this article, we explore an understudied dimension of girls' single-sex education: how social relationships and racial diversity impact the educational environment for girls, and how teachers may best address these concerns. Findings are presented from a 3-year qualitative study of girls' experiences in a single-sex technology program. Girls valued the all-girls aspect of the programs, and friendships formed the foundation of their social experiences. Girls' friendship groups influenced their experiences and eventually their success in the after school technology programs. When friendship groups were observed to be racially homogeneous, they created challenges for including and supporting a racially diverse student membership. Our responses to the challenges that cultural differences and tensions present are outlined, along with recommendations for helping girls bridge these differences.


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