Missing in Action: A Critical Narrative Study of the Absence of Black Female Secondary Science Teachers
Date of Award
Doctorate in Education
School or College
School of Education
R. Nicole Johnson-Ahorlu
Despite the increasing research that lists cultural incongruence in the classroom among the top factors that speaks to the disproportionate numbers of Black females obtaining STEM degrees there is limited research on the actual number of Black female science teachers at the secondary level in education and the impact this plays on Black females in science, technology, engineering, and math classrooms (STEM). The consequence of all this is that we find ourselves with Black female science teachers “missing in action,” and only 5% of Black females receiving a STEM degree. I employ critical pedagogy, critical race theory, and Black feminist thought to answer: (a) What do the stories of Black female secondary science teachers tell us about issues related to their recruitment and retention within the science teaching force? (b) How do Black female secondary science teachers explain the shortage of Black females entering the STEM field? What do they believe should be done to increase the number of Black females in the field? (c) What contributions do Black female secondary science teachers make or potentially would like to make to increase the number of Black females entering and remaining within the science teaching force? This study explores how Black women are absent in the conversation about recruitment and retention of secondary science teachers. To answer the research questions in a humanizing way, this study was conducted collectively with my participants using the qualitative methodologies of critical narratives and decolonizing methodology. Therefore, this study represents an effort to address this phenomenon by listening to the voices of Black female secondary science teachers and engaging their stories, which often have remained absent from recruitment and retention discussions, to contribute to the scholarship on the recruitment and retention of Black science teachers.
Despenza, Nadia, "Missing in Action: A Critical Narrative Study of the Absence of Black Female Secondary Science Teachers" (2018). LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations. 534.