This week we would like to highlight the work of Dr. Charles Lu, Executive Director, Gateway Scholars and Summer Bridge Programs, at The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Charles Lu’s research focused on examining science experiences of Latino males majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The qualitative, phenomenological study referenced in this brief examined their first semester science experiences using a science identity framework. The two main research questions guiding this research study were: (1) How do Latino males majoring in STEM disciplines ascribe meaning to their science experiences in the first semester of college? (2) How do Latino males’ science identities develop in their first college semester?
The findings from this study bring attention to the ways Latino males’ science identities are deconstructed, challenged, and shaped in their first semester of college. Many of the men enjoyed the prestige and exclusivity that they associated with STEM, and this affected the way they constructed their reality within and outside the scientific world. University administrators should make participat ing in a science community an expected norm for all STEM students in their first year of college. They should also reframe “tutoring” and as “collaborative study sessions” so that students feel like they are active contributors as opposed to passive consumers of scientific knowledge. At the same time, faculty and staff should work together to send a strong message to nor malize help-seeking behaviors, particularly for Latino male students.
For Dr. Lu’s full brief click here
For the rest of our brief series click here