Issues of Identity and Equity in STEM Education STEM Teachers Identity and Gender Equity in STEM

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Issues of Identity and Equity in STEM Education STEM Teachers Identity and Gender Equity in STEM

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Abstract This three-paper dissertation addresses issues of equity and identity in STEM education through three studies conducted with teachers in two emerging STEM schools in the Midwest United States (U.S.), graduates of a girls STEM school in Egypt, and the teachers of a STEM school in Egypt. The studies comprising this dissertation utilized case study as a research design to explore the issues of equity and identity in STEM education. Participants in each study were selected using criterion purposeful sampling. Though these studies were not intended to be comparative, the results of the three studies reveal context-based results with several global assumptions regarding nature of STEM education and the pertinent issues of equity and identity. In the three studies STEM education is viewed as having a transformative power for both teachers as providing an opportunity for change at the professional level; and for female students providing an equitable learning environment for girls aspiring to pursue STEM fields. The evolving nature of the STEM teacher identity was evident across all cases. The American teachers conceptualize STEM as providing valuable tool for better learning opportunities for students based on integrated curriculum and with emphasis on equity and inclusion. Egyptian teachers viewed STEM from two lenses: as a pedagogical tool to facilitate learning complex concepts, and a system level reform initiative to reform the existing failing education system in the country and prepare students for the labor market. Characteristics of STEM teachers were uniform across the three studies; flexibility, collaboration and open to change. The challenges for teachers’ identity development in the Egyptian experience are mostly related to lack of resources and bureaucracy while in the U.S. case they are more connected with professional development and time needed for more practice. While the studies making up this dissertation denote the centrality of the context regarding STEM design and implementation, they still have implications for STEM education as a global reform initiative.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2018. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Gillian Roehrig. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 178 pages.

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El Nagdi, Mohamed. (2018). Issues of Identity and Equity in STEM Education STEM Teachers Identity and Gender Equity in STEM. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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