Imaginaries and subjectivities of teachers of color in Urban STEM classrooms
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
2:50 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
Convention Center - 205 A
Responding to the theme of looking at learning and identity across activity settings of everyday life, this talk will examine the professional lived experiences of three female teachers of color as they navigate their subjectivities of learning to teach and racialized bodies in classrooms. As teachers within their first three years of teaching in three different and diverse urban schools, they are learning what it means to teach while they are developing their identities as teachers in diverse classrooms, and in particular what it means to teach students of color and they ways that they either take up, resist and/or transform discourses around students of African and Latinx decent and STEM. In order to understand their experiences of becoming teachers, it is important first to unpack the discursive fields in which they exist, for example, discourse around race, STEM teaching and learning and resources in science teaching and learning contexts and how their subjectivities shift and respond to these discourses. Drawing from two years of data from a group of science teachers who met bi-weekly as a collaborative teacher inquiry group, three participants emerged as case studies because of their identities as Afrodiasporic teachers coupled with their enactments of teaching. Data sources from the meetings included digital audio recordings, field notes and artifacts teachers brought in and chose to share with the group. Individual interviews and one-on-one informal dialogues also informed this study. The analysis shows that within the different schooling contexts, teachers enacted their activity as teachers in different ways in relation to how they viewed themselves vis-à-vis their students. Their goals for creating STEM learning experiences were shaped and enacted around STEM futures that they imagined for their students and to counter the prevailing deficit discourses around students of color and STEM.