Relationship Among Class Perceptions, Math Identification, and STEM Choice: Examining Gender and Racial Differences

dc.contributor.authorMondesir, Sachielen
dc.contributor.committeechairJones, Brett D.en
dc.contributor.committeechairWilkins, Jesse L. M.en
dc.contributor.committeememberSanders, Karen Eleyen
dc.contributor.committeememberDoolittle, Peter E.en
dc.contributor.departmentEducation, Vocational-Technicalen
dc.date.accessioned2022-04-20T08:00:09Zen
dc.date.available2022-04-20T08:00:09Zen
dc.date.issued2022-04-19en
dc.description.abstractThe first purpose of this research was to understand the factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women of color in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career fields, with a specific focus on understanding the issues faced by Black women. The second purpose was to analyze the gender and racial differences in the interrelationship of high school students' class perceptions, math identification, and their decisions to select a STEM major in college. These relationships are important because the growth outlook for careers in STEM is higher than other career fields and providing underrepresented women in STEM equal access to these careers is vital. Additionally, it is important to increase the gender and racial diversity of the STEM workforce. The first manuscript (Chapter 2) was based on a literature review that provided an overview of the social factors that affect the underrepresentation of women of color in STEM by highlighting the experiences of girls of color in their youth. The literature review explored the stereotypes and discrimination girls of color experienced in the K-12 school system that affect their participation in math and science, and how the intersection of race and gender contributed to the experiences of Black females when it comes to their experiences with STEM. Using the MUSIC model of motivation theory and domain identification theory, the study in Chapter 3 explored the relationship between students' math class perceptions, math identification, and decision to major in a math-intensive (i.e., math and statistics, engineering, computer science, and physical sciences) STEM major. The study in Chapter 3 used multigroup structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze gender and racial differences among four groups Black females, Black males, White females, and White males. The results indicate that students' math class perceptions of success and interest were positively related to their math identification. Furthermore, students' math identification was positively related to their decisions to select a STEM major as they entered college. The interrelationship between math class perceptions, math identification, and the decision to select a STEM major was not statistically different for Black females as compared to Black males, White females, or White males. Implications for schools and educators for increasing the participation of Black female students in STEM are discussed.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralThe purposes of this research were to understand the factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of women of color in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and to analyze the gender and racial differences in the interrelationship of students' class perceptions, math identification, and decisions to select a STEM major. Because Black women are one of the least represented groups in careers associated with STEM, one of the aims of this research was to investigate some of the factors contributing to Black women's underrepresentation in STEM careers. The research was conducted in two parts. The first manuscript (Chapter 2) was based on a literature review that provided an overview of the social factors that affect the underrepresentation of women of color in STEM careers by highlighting their experiences in their youth. The literature review explored discrimination against girls of color in the K-12 school system, especially as it relates to math and science participation, and how the intersection of race and gender contributed to the experiences of Black females in STEM. The second manuscript (Chapter 3) used the MUSIC model of motivation theory and domain identification theory to analyze the relationship between students' math class perceptions, how well students see math as part of their identity (math identification), and decision to major in a math-intensive (math and statistics, engineering, computer science, and physical sciences) STEM major. I used a statistical method, structural equation modeling (SEM), to analyze gender and racial differences among four groups; Black females, Black males, White females, and White males. The math class perceptions of success and interest were found to be positively related to math identification. Students' math identification was found to be positively related to their decisions to select a STEM major. Black females did not show a difference from the other groups in the relationship between their math class perceptions, math identification, and decision to select a STEM major. Implications for schools and educators for increasing the participation of Black female students in STEM are discussed.en
dc.description.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.format.mediumETDen
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:34345en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/109700en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectMath Identificationen
dc.subjectClass Perceptionsen
dc.subjectBlack Femalesen
dc.subjectSTEMen
dc.subjectDomain Identificationen
dc.subjectCareer Goalsen
dc.subjectMUSICen
dc.titleRelationship Among Class Perceptions, Math Identification, and STEM Choice: Examining Gender and Racial Differencesen
dc.typeDissertationen
thesis.degree.disciplineCurriculum and Instructionen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
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