Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Kelly Clark

Abstract

Even with the existence of STEM curriculum and STEM programs that target women and minorities, African-American females still lag behind other ethnic groups in STEM fields. Reasons for the underrepresentation of females in STEM fields can be traced back to the early years of schooling. The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that impact African-American females’ perspectives of STEM subjects and STEM careers. An explanatory sequential mixed-methods approach was used for data collection with a survey, focus group, and interview. Forty male (N=12) and female (N=28) students from different ethnic groups were surveyed. The focus group and interview sessions consisted of 21 African-American females from two distinct groups: those enrolled in the school’s STEM program (STEM) and those who were not enrolled in the STEM program (Non-STEM). The self-efficacy theory and social cognitive career theory served as the theoretical constructs guiding the data analysis. Multiple regression results showed that outcome expectation and personal disposition had the greatest influence on the females’ interest in STEM content and STEM careers. Results from the qualitative portion of the study revealed that the learning environment and STEM self-efficacy had a significant impact on African-American females’ interest in STEM.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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