The “Educate to Innovate,” a STEM initiative proposed by President Obama, places emphasis on the improvement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, areas that advance our culture through problem solving and innovation. However, due to a “leaky pipeline,” minority women remain disproportionately underrepresented in STEM disciplines. This is particularly true among those from low-income backgrounds, which further limits their ability to participate in the modern economy. Despite some progress, the American Association for the Advancement of Science indicates that the percentage of minority women in STEM areas remains extremely low and that more women are needed to make contributions to research and to serve as mentors and role models. Educational equity calls for the design of strategies that provide additional opportunities for girls of underrepresented and low-income backgrounds that foster their interest and engagement in STEM areas. This includes providing accurate information about the opportunities that exist for women in math, science and engineering careers, and successfully identifying, encouraging and nurturing girls to pursue their interests in these areas from an early age. This chapter analyzes the various factors that impact the performance of girls and women in STEM areas, and provides strategies to increase the participation of minority women in these fields.
Twenty-first century educators who teach in the era of globalization should recognize the growing importance of cultural sensitivity and understanding culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of using cultural narratives (CNs) as an instructional strategy in educating some pre- and in-service teachers who may approach teaching from a monocultural and monolinguistic mindset but who are likely to work with students who are multicultural and multi-linguistic. Using a “reflective team approach” (Jones, 2003), four TESOL educators from diverse backgrounds and settings analyzed and responded to the CNs of Burcu, one of the co-authors and co-researchers, to examine the effectiveness of CNs as instructional tools in TESOL education. We found that integrating authentic, first-hand stories of English language learners in TESOL education can be an effective instructional strategy to deepen pre- and in-service teachers’ recognition and understanding of CLD students. CNs could play a role in connecting students with their teachers and with content that might otherwise be abstract and meaningless.
Traditional storytelling is passed on from generation to generation for the purpose of education and entertainment. Little attention has been given to the role of stories in Kassena society, and these stories are disappearing under modern technological trends. Using some stories collected at storytelling settings, open-ended questions and observation, the paper explores traditional storytelling among the Kassena in Ghana, and concludes that stories teach the young good behavior, build community, instill a sense of hope, and entertain.
2ND Untested Ideas International Research Conference June 27 – 29, 2014 The Sheraton Rhodes Resort, Rhodes, Greece