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ERIC Number: EJ1039909
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
When Preparation Meets Opportunity: A Case Study Exploring the Feasibility of Pursuing a Career in Biology for Two Latina High School Girls
García, Yeni Violeta
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v8 n4 p935-951 Dec 2013
The future of this country depends on utilizing human intellectual resources from varying viewpoints to make informed decisions on issues from conservation biology to biotechnology, or even bioengineering. An increase in Latina/o students in the biological sciences would bring a variety of viewpoints, as well as personal and cultural experiences that would advance the field. To insure that we have enough experts in biology that represent changes in demographic trends, we must look into utilizing the expertise of students in our current educational system to continue and complete careers in biology. In this study, a career in biology referred to careers that require an expertise in biology that is gained by completing a bachelor's degree in biology or an affiliated field. Using case study methodology, I explored the experiences of two Latina students, one who is undocumented, and focused on the nature of the experiences and how they related to the young women's decision to pursue a career in biology. This study is grounded on a theoretical framework of critical systems theory and the notion that there are systems and components within those systems that either facilitate or hinder students' ability to pursue various pathways. Data were generated from semi-structured interviews, artifacts, life narratives, and cultural descriptors to gain an understanding of the girls' past, present, and future decisions regarding the feasibility of pursuing a degree in biology. Four common themes emerged: (1) experiences that made a lasting positive or negative impact early in life; (2) an intrinsic desire to serve their community or people in need; (3) sociocultural support networks; and (4) opportunities or circumstances within the cultural commons associated with their legal status in the United States, which caused the girls to continue or to deviate from their path towards pursuing a career in biology.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A