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Angela M. Calabrese Barton
Assistant Professor, Center for Science Education
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

Feminist Science Education.

In this presentation, I will focus on K-12 math and science education and its role in preparing girls to enter the engineering pipeline. This presentation will have three parts. First, I will briefly walk the audience through the recent history of the K-12 math and science education reform initiatives intended to improve and sustain educational achievement and attitudes of all girls. I will highlight the major policies developed and implemented with an eye towards gender equity. I will also discuss the overall impact these policies and practices have had on girls in K-12 math and science and careers in science, math and engineering. Second, using case studies from my own research with girls in poverty in two large urban centers in the US (New York City, NY and Austin, TX), I will present a set of concerns raised by the lived experiences of girls of color and girls in poverty that, as a community, we continue to struggle with in sustaining increased achievement in math and science by girls. Third, I will share a set of strategies (and snap shots of what these strategies look like in action) that we must work harder to enact if we are to make a sustained difference in the quality of math and science education received by girls from all backgrounds.

Dr. Calabrese Barton is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.   Prior to her start at the University of Texas in 1999, she was promoted to Associate Professor at Teacher's College, Columbia University in Science Education.  She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching and Education Policy from Michigan State University in 1995 following work in industry as a chemist after receiving her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1990 with honors.  

Dr. Calabrese Barton's research interests include science teaching and teacher education in poor, urban settings, feminist theory and science education, and homelessness and education. She became interested in these issues through several different routes. First, her own experiences as a chemist made her wonder just how subjective the scientific world really is. Her experiences teaching in poor urban settings made her question just how discriminatory schooling practices can be. And, her experiences as a homeless individual left her wondering about just how much racism, classism, and sexism is embedded within daily living. Her research takes a critical perspective to schooling, science and society because she believes these domains cannot be separated in teaching and learning situations.  The National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation have funded her research.  She has published around science education, feminism and urban issues in the Journal of Teacher Education, Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Theory into Practice, Educational Policy, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Women's Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Curriculum Inquiry.  She also has a book, Feminist Science Education, published with Teachers College Press (1998).  Just recently, she received the 2000 Early Career Award for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching.