Theses Doctoral

“Science Ain’t the Enemy” – Exploring the Experiences of Black and Brown Girls in a Hip-Hop Based Science Program

Asamani, Gifty Akua Asantewa

This dissertation is a longitudinal critical ethnographic research study that explores the experiences of four Black and Brown high school girls’ who participated in a hip-hop based science program (Science Genius program). The study employed three distinct yet aligned theoretical frameworks: - sociocultural theory, Pygmalion effect, and Black feminist theory. Given that an ethnographic study looks at the cultural patterns of a group over a period of time, this investigation spanned 2.5 years and involved explorations of the participants’ experiences with science. In addition, there are elements of autoethnography woven throughout the dissertation as my personal experiences as a Black woman in science informs both my research lens and my relationship to the research subjects (Camangian, 2010). By utilizing a qualitative methodological approach, the study gave voice to students who were racially and traditionally marginalized in science education and professions (Ceci & Williams, 2007; Emdin, 2016; Hanson, 2008; Hill, Corbett, & St. Rose, 2010; Mensah, 2012) and provided an opportunity for them to give personal accounts of their experiences in science education. The primary focus of the research involved a critical analysis of the responses of Black and Brown girls to a culturally relevant science curriculum that was based on the foundations of hip-hop pedagogy (Adjapong & Emdin, 2015; Emdin, 2010a, 2010b, 2016; Gay, 2010; Ladson-Billings, 1995). The findings of this study showed how the girls used the hip-hop based science program as a platform to demonstrate girl empowerment against commonplace Black and Brown girl race/gender biases in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and how they built up their confidence to exhibit their scientific knowledge while defining their scientific identities.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Science Education
Thesis Advisors
Emdin, Christopher
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 15, 2018