1887

Abstract

Due to the social context of engineering classrooms, stereotype threat (STT) may play an essential role in the dearth of AA females in engineering. Empirical studies have confirmed the deleterious effects STT has on students' performance. However, acceptance of STT as more than a laboratory phenomenon necessitates an in-depth understanding of how stigmatized groups experience being socially devalued and negatively stereotyped. In this qualitative investigation, the Critical Race Theory tenet of counter-storytelling is applied to capture the narratives of AA females to comprehend how they resist or overcome STT and persist in engineering. Data from semi-structured interviews is used to assess what meaning AA female engineering students construct of events that trigger or protect them from STT. Findings suggest that AA females in engineering are certainly experiencing STT. Preliminary analysis reveal five characteristic themes shared by the participants: (1) excessive competitiveness with other students, especially other females; (2) being ‘invisible’ or an aversion of being identified by their gender and/or race; (3) discomfort with uncaring and unwelcoming environments; (4) silence and (5) reliance on received knowledge.

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2015-08-29
2020-04-02
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  • Received: 11 September 2014
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