How Personal Experiences of Teachers Affects Minority Science Education

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Kristen Vogt Veggeberg, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

In this preliminary study, four inner-city Chicago teachers who participated as mentors and instructors in a leadership program at Adler Planetarium were interviewed on their personal experiences as both STEM professionals and subsequent science instructors for urban students in an informal learning environment. Interview questions were focused on when instructors first experienced science as students and researchers, how their careers were affected by the affordances that they were given in their education, and their subsequent view of science. Using narrative analysis (Labov & Waletzky, 1997) it was found that most participants who had positive views of both themselves as teachers portrayed science as a more inclusive topic for their students to engage in. As result, it was concluded that students were positively engaged in their programs as both part of their program, as well as a decisive factor in their decision to continue to participate in science at the university level.