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Editors: Will Letts and Steve Fifield
STEM of Desire: Queer Theories and Science Education locates, creates, and investigates intersections of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and queer theorizing. Manifold desires—personal, political, cultural—produce and animate STEM education. Queer theories instigate and explore (im)possibilities for knowing and being through desires normal and strange. The provocative original manuscripts in this collection draw on queer theories and allied perspectives to trace entanglements of STEM education, sex, sexuality, gender, and desire and to advance constructive critique, creative world-making, and (com)passionate advocacy. Not just another call for inclusion, this volume turns to what and how STEM education and diverse, desiring subjects might be(come) in relation to each other and the world.

STEM of Desire is the first book-length project on queering STEM education. Eighteen chapters and two poems by 27 contributors consider STEM education in schools and universities, museums and other informal learning environments, and everyday life. Subject areas include physical and life sciences, engineering, mathematics, nursing and medicine, environmental education, early childhood education, teacher education, and education standards. These queering orientations to theory, research, and practice will interest STEM teacher educators, teachers and professors, undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, policy makers, and academic libraries.

Contributors are: Jesse Bazzul, Charlotte Boulay, Francis S. Broadway, Erin A. Cech, Steve Fifield, blake m. r. flessas, Andrew Gilbert, Helene Götschel, Emily M. Gray, Kristin L. Gunckel, Joe E. Heimlich, Tommye Hutson, Kathryn L. Kirchgasler, Michelle L. Knaier, Sheri Leafgren, Will Letts, Anna MacDermut, Michael J. Reiss, Donna M. Riley, Cecilia Rodéhn, Scott Sander, Nicholas Santavicca, James Sheldon, Amy E. Slaton, Stephen Witzig, Timothy D. Zimmerman, and Adrian Zongrone.
Immigrant Chinese women scientists and engineers who study and work in the United States constitute a rapidly growing yet understudied group. These women’s lived experiences and reflections can tell us a great deal about the current state of immigrant women scientists in the United States, how universities can help these women succeed, and about China’s emergence as a global scientific and technological superpower.
Chinese Dreams? American Dreams? is the first ethnographic study to document migrating Chinese-born women scientists’ and engineers’ educational experiences and careers in the U. S. It historically situates these women in current political, economic, and cultural contexts and examines the successful strategies they employ to survive discrimination, advance careers, establish networks, and promote transnational research collaborations during their educational and career journeys in the U. S. This study makes a valuable text for students, researchers, and policy makers in higher education, women’s studies, science and engineering studies, as well as for faculty who teach future scientists and engineers. It also introduces new multicultural, intersectional, and feminist perspectives on these crucial issues of gender, ethnicity, nationality, and class, as they impact women’s professional lives.
Understanding Girls: Quantitative and Qualitative Research is a retrospective of the author’s research that led to receiving the 2013 Distinguished Contributions Award to Science Education through Research. This book includes selected articles that document changes in her research approaches and theoretical frameworks. The articles represent the evolution of her thinking about the issue of girls in science as well as her impact on science education. The author’s work is placed in the context of science education research at the time of publication, research in education and psychology, and the culture of the times. She pulls back the curtain that often makes the messy work of research seem straightforward and linear to reveal why she did the research and the methodological decisions she faced. She describes the serendipitous nature of some of the work as well as her frustrations in trying to understand data, and struggles to insure that she accurately and respectfully presented the voices of girls and their teachers. The book also includes some of the earliest research in engineering education preceding the focus on engineering practices found in the Next Generation Science and Engineering Standards. Understanding Girls provides insights into why girls may or may not decide to participate in science and engineering and what can be done to increase their participation. It provides evidence that we have increased girls’ participation and the challenges that remain to insure that every girl who wants to become a scientist or engineer has the opportunity to do so.
Guidelines for Collaborating in STEM Fields
This unique book provides important guidelines and examples of ways STEM (e. g., science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) faculty and administration can collaborate towards goals of recruiting, mentoring, and promoting leadership to academic women faculty. Based on the experiences of faculty across five Florida universities, including one national laboratory, each chapter highlights one aspect of a multi-institutional collaboration on an NSF ADVANCE-PAID grant dedicated to achieving these three goals.
Highlighting the importance of coordination, integration, and flexibility, each chapter details strategies and challenges of establishing a multi-site collaboration, assessing climate in STEM departments, addressing differential institutional readiness and infrastructure, and implementing change. The authors suggest ways to build on intrainstitutional strengths through interinstitutional activities, including shared workshops, research, and materials.
Separate chapters focus on recruiting women into STEM departments, mentoring women faculty, and providing leadership opportunities to women. A theoretical chapter includes Cultural historical activity theory as a lens for examining the alliances’ activities and evaluation data. Other chapters present research on women STEM faculty, contributing insights about STEM women’s sense of isolation. Chapters include a reflective metalogue written by a social scientist. The book closes with lessons learned from this collaboration.
Formation Interdisciplinaire des Ingénieurs et Problème du Genre
Attracting more young people, particularly women, in Engineering and Technology (ET) is a major concern in Europe today. Their participation in engineering occupations appears to be a key-issue for European economic and technical development, as well as a central achievement towards gender equality and social justice. Increasing young people’s interest in the sciences and mathematics and underlining the importance of Engineering and Technology developments in shaping our collective future is an ongoing project in the education sector. This book presents various analyses and ideas for possible solutions.
Aujourd’hui, attirer plus de jeunes et en particulier des jeunes femmes dans les formations d’ingénieurs est un souci majeur en Europe. C’est une clé pour aller vers l’égalité des sexes et favoriser le développement économique, scientifique et technologique de l’Europe. Accroitre l’intérêt des jeunes pour les sciences et la technologie est essentiel pour notre futur collectif et constitue un défi majeur pour l’éducation. Ce livre présente des analyses et des idées pour de possibles solutions.
Women in science education are placed in a juxtaposition of gender roles and gendered career roles. Using auto/biography and auto/ethnography, this book examines the challenges and choices of academic women in science education and how those challenges have changed, or remained consistent, since women have become a presence in science education. The book’s contributors span a temporal and spatial continuum and focus on how a variety of issues relate to the paradoxes for academic women in science education. Science is characterized as a masculine endeavor, while teaching is described as “women’s true profession”. Thus, female academics involved in science education are positioned in two paradoxes. First, as teachers they are involved in a feminized profession. However, within that profession, women faculty in science education work in a discipline viewed as a masculine enterprise. Further, these women work in educational institutions that have higher status and prestige than their sisters in elementary, middle or high schools. Second, female professors are “bearded mothers”. Women who have engaged in science education value rationality and logic and assume authority as participants in academe. The use of logic, the acceptance of authority and the assumption of power are masculine gender-stereotyped characteristics. This situation places women in a paradox, because others, including peers and students, expect them to display stereotypic female gender dispositions, such as mothering/nurturing, sacrificing their needs for others, and a commitment to the institution.
The topics include: discussing how their engagement with science impacted their career trajectories and re-direction from science to science education, the relationships of cultural and racial factors on career trajectories, and the dialectical relationship between women’s private|public lives and their agency (collective and individual) in the academy and its enactment within academic fields. The book documents the lives and careers of academic women in science education from the United States, Australia, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, and Europe.
Legacies for Social Change
From a rationale of multiculturalism and a based on systemic approach grounded in the Arab-Islamic tradition, this book integrates history, education, science, and feminism to understand the implications of culture in social change, cultural identity, and cultural exchange. Dr. Belhachmi’s praxis maintains the relationship between socio-political movements, and their corollary scientific movements to explain women’s role in social change of the Arab-Islamic world; thus linking the region’s past and the present in a historical continuum. In one masterful move, she immediately engages into a discovery -journey of the 13 century old Arab-Islamic socio-cultural and intellectual history; thus exploring the independent Arab-Islamic Worldview of development, modernism, science, education, and discusses the corollary socio-political and reform movements that integrated women in the region’s governance over time. Thus, she not only highlights women’s involvement in social change as a recurrent cyclical phenomenon in the region, but also chronicles the women-led independent 120 years of Arab-Islamic feminist science.
Above all, Dr. Belhachmi offers an innovative operational three-levelled model of analysis of education and feminist practice that reconciles particularism and universalism, and yields to systemic analyses of women in education cross-culturally. In doing so, the book shifts focus from the “woman’s question” into the more radical issues of “women’s science” in the Arab-Islamic culture; illustrating with the work of al-Sa'dawi (Egypt) and Mernissi (Morocco). As such this study is both a groundbreaking epistemological study on the role Arab-Muslim women and social change over time, and an essential textbook on women in contemporary Arab-Islamic education, and social sciences.
In a tour de force, Dr. Belhachmi reclaims Arab-Islamic feminist scientific legacy as organic to the region’s institutional memory and its collective cultural reference, while restoring to Arab-Muslim women feminists; including herself, their epistemic space within the contemporary multi-discursive practice/space of international feminism.; thus offering us a timely pioneering book on Arab-Islamic feminist epistemology. Equally, she provides us with a new scientific framework for self-representation and cultural exchange much needed both in international education and “a new feminist international order.”
In brief, this is an original scholarly work that provides us with creative empowerment methods, qualitative methodologies and holistic conceptual tools; thus enabling us to re-think our “rapport to knowledge” and the place of knowledge itself and how its related research strategies can move us beyond the pitfalls of cultural relativism and scientism. As such, this is an invaluable addition to the literature on the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that will benefit the layman tremendously; and a must reference for specialists and students alike.
Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice
On the Outskirts of Engineering: Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice falls at the intersection of research about women in sites of technical practice and ethnographic studies of learning in communities of practice. Grounded in long-term participation on student teams completing real-world projects for industry and government clients, Outskirts provides an insider look at forms of engineering practice—the cultural production of engineer identity, of the ways that gender is made real in such sites of practice, and of power relations that emerge in response to enculturated practices that organize everyday life. Outskirts contributes to understanding cultural obduracy and the movement of some men and most women to the outskirts of engineering.