“No, This Is Not My Boyfriend’s Computer”: Elevating the Voices of Youth in STEM Education Research Leveraging Photo-Elicitation

Daniel Edelen, Kristin Cook, L. Octavia Tripp, Christa Jackson, Sarah B. Bush, Margaret J. Mohr-Schroeder, D. Craig Schroeder, Thomas Roberts, Cathrine Maiorca, Jessica Ivy, Megan Burton, Andrea Perrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We aim to elevate the stories and voices of youth in integrated STEM education, particularly those who have been historically marginalized and excluded from STEM spaces. Our research uses photo-elicitation to decenter the power of researchers and educators and elevate the experiences and expertise of youth in STEM. Findings are presented from three instrumental case studies, examining the perspectives of youth on what it means to do STEM, who belongs in STEM, and why STEM is important. The findings reveal that youth often perceive STEM as a siloed approach but also emphasize the need for greater integration of mathematics in STEM. Furthermore, the study highlights the importance of STEM identity development, showing that belonging in STEM is not just about future careers but also about fostering a sense of belonging in the present. Additionally, the study uncovers that youth invoke empathy and social consciousness when explaining the importance of integrated STEM, emphasizing the need to address racial, gender, and professional biases in STEM educational spaces. This prompts a reconsideration of the motivations behind integrated STEM education, emphasizing the value of developing STEM literacy for the well-being of all youth, not just as future workforce preparation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for STEM Education Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Keywords

  • Equity
  • Identity
  • Innovative research
  • Integrated STEM
  • Participatory research
  • Photo-elicitation
  • Sense of belonging
  • Youth and STEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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