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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

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

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2018020378
pages 361-379

ASSUMING BRILLIANCE: A DECRIMINALIZING APPROACH TO EDUCATING AFRICAN AMERICAN AND LATINO BOYS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STEM SETTINGS

Vincent Basile
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Enrique J. Lopez
University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

ABSTRACT

By way of a well-established and sophisticated school-to-prison pipeline, boys of color face destructive and unjust systems of oppression in their everyday school settings. Disrupting this hyper-criminalization requires purposeful and thoughtful practices. In this manuscript, we put forth the concept of assuming brilliance as a mechanism that disrupts criminalization. Derived from a multisite longitudinal empirical study focused on the experiences of elementary school African American and Latino boys in an after-school STEM program, we offer concrete examples of assuming brilliance, along with suggestions for ways in which educators, teacher preparation programs, and future research may take up this decriminalizing classroom practice.