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ERIC Number: EJ1162112
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
You Don't Look Like a Physicist
Santos, Antonio Carlos Fontes
Physics Teacher, v55 n9 p524-527 Dec 2017
"You don't look like a physicist!" "Sorry, this bus only goes to the university, Sir." "Where are you going, sir?" "So, you are a university professor? But a substitute one, aren't you?" "OK, you're a professor, but do you do research?" As a person of color teaching physics in Brazil, those are some comments that I usually hear. They are consequences of stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination, which are related but different ideas. Stereotypes indicate expectations and beliefs about an individual or a group, prejudice denotes feelings, and discrimination expresses behaviors. People are likely to be astonished whenever a Black person says that he or she is a physicist. This paper aims to raise awareness of the underrepresentation of Black physics professors and researchers in Brazil and how the lack of quality high school physics education impacts Black and poor students in Brazil. Finally, some considerations on how physics education can assist minority students in overcoming social barriers that contribute to their underrepresentation are presented.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A