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Achieving equity through critical science agency: an ethnographic study of African American students in a health science career academy

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julie Haun-Frank (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Heidi Carlone

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of a High School Health Science Career Academy to support African American students' science career trajectories. I used three key theoretical tools--critical science agency (Basu, 2007; Calabrese Barton & Tan, 2008), power (Nespor, 1994), and cultural production (Carlone, 2004; Eisenhart & Finkel, 1998) to highlight the intersections between the career trajectory implied by the Academy (its curriculum, classroom activities, and clinical experiences) and the students' pursued career trajectories. Data was collected over five months and included individual student interviews, group interviews, parent and administrator interviews, field notes from a culminating medical course and clinical internship, and Academy recruitment documents. The results of this study suggest that participants pursued a health science career for altruistic purposes and the Academy was a resource they drew upon to do so. However, the meanings of science and science person implied by the Academy hindered the possibility for many participants' to advance their science career trajectories. While the Academy promised to expose students to a variety of high-status health care roles, they were funneled into feminine, entry-level positions. This study adds to previous underrepresentation literature by contextualizing how identity-related factors influence African American students' career attainment.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
African American Students, Career Academy, Critical Science Agency
Subjects
Medicine $x Study and teaching.
Minorities $x Education (secondary) $z United States.
Motivation in education $z United States.
Minorities in medicine.
Medical education.