Not in their name: re-interpreting discourses of STEM learning through the subjective experiences of minoritized girls

Tesha Sengupta-Irving*, Shirin Vossoughi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper problematizes the enduring conscription of STEM learning in discourses of U.S. global ascendancy, neoliberalism and militarism. Drawing on ethnographic data, we explore how girls of color make meaning of their everyday experiences in two settings: a racially tracked mathematics class in a suburban high school and a STEAM based after-school program in a working class urban community. The stories of these girls–separated by time, place, age, and social histories but bound by sensibilities grown in their Immigrant families and learning contexts–contest U.S. hegemony as the primary rationale for STEM learning; challenge individual gain at the expense of another; problematize what counts as science while insisting on its creative convergence with joy; and honor their ingenuity and humanity. Challenging representational and respectability politics, we consider how dignity may better account for the complexity of their experiences and serve as a resource for research, pedagogy and design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-501
Number of pages23
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019

Keywords

  • STEM
  • dignity
  • girls of color
  • immigrant
  • learning
  • politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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