Title: Science Identity and Its ‘Identity Crisis’: Four Strategies to Foster Self-efficacy and Sense of Belonging in STEM
Stream: Professional Training, Development & Concerns in Education
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Stefano Sandrone, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
The word identity derives etymologically from the Latin expression identitas, from idem, which means same. But the identities each of us has in the same moment and across life stages can be multiple and continuously changing, and are influenced by internal (i.e., personal) and external (i.e., environmental) factors. By 2045, the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) population in the USA will be around 40% (United States Census Bureau, 2012), but represent only 10% of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) PhD awarded during the past years (National Science Foundation, 2015). 19.2% of STEM academic staff under 34 is from an Asian background and 1.8% is made of black scientists (Joice and Tetlow, 2020). Here, I reviewed the literature on the theoretical and practical aspects of science identity, exploring how this can be measured quantitatively. Moreover, I investigated the links between science identity, professional identity, mentoring and a sense of belonging. I analysed four strategies to foster self-efficacy and a sense of belonging in STEM:
1) signposting hard work vs being born scientists;
2) promoting and showing diversity (topics-wise and careers-wise);
3) creating virtual or real space for interactions (in-person and online);
4) integrating active learning in the curriculum for an authentic learning journey.
These strategies can be instrumental in building a scientific community that is inclusive and diverse.
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