To iron or to do science: A storied life of a Latina from scientist to science teacher

2009 2009

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Abstract (summary)

Reform initiatives such as Science for All Americans (AAA, 1989) and National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) argue for making science accessible to all children regardless of age, sex, cultural and/or ethic background, and disabilities. One of the most popular and prevailing phrases highlighting science education reform in the last decade has been science for all. In terms of making science accessible to all, science educators argue that one role of science teachers ought to be to embrace students’ experiences outside of the science classroom by becoming aware and inclusive of the cultural resources that student’s households contain. Moll, González and Amanti (1992) termed these cultural resources as funds of knowledge which refer to culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household well being.

This study examined the career transition of a former Latina scientist from a research scientist to a high school science teacher. Her lived experiences that influenced her career transition were examined using interpretive biography through a feminist theory lens. The following question guided the study: How have the lived experiences of the participant as engaged through cultural, historical, and social interactions influenced a transition in career from a research scientist to a classroom teacher?

A former Latina scientist and her family participated in this study to facilitate the documentation, narration, and interpretation of her career transition. The researcher immersed herself in the field for five months and data collection included in-depth interviews with the participant and her family. In addition, the researcher kept a reflexive journal. Data were analyzed using socio-cultural thematic approach to identify snapshots and to develop emergent themes. Data analysis revealed that the participant’s cultural socialization conflicted with the Eurocentric/Androcentric culture of science found in both the university and research laboratories. Consequently the participant’s strong need to have a family was a powerful contributor to her selection of teaching as a second career. The participant’s lived experiences emphasized a need to explore the impact and interaction of ethnicity and gender in the myopic science culture that has left women and people of other cultures at the doorsteps of the scientific enterprise.

Indexing (details)

Womens studies;
Individual & family studies;
Science education;
Hispanic American studies;
Science teachers;
Education reform;
Children & youth;
0453: Womens studies
0628: Individual & family studies
0714: Science education
0737: Hispanic American studies
Identifier / keyword
Education; Social sciences; Eurocentric nature of science; Feminist; Funds of knowledge; Latina; Science
To iron or to do science: A storied life of a Latina from scientist to science teacher
Hoy, Sarida P.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Verma, Geeta
Georgia State University
University location
United States -- Georgia
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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