Religion as a Support Factor for Women of Color Pursuing Science Degrees: Implications for Science Teacher Educators
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- Ceglie, R. J Sci Teacher Educ (2013) 24: 37. doi:10.1007/s10972-012-9286-z
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This study explores the influence of religion as a support factor for a group of Latina and African-American women majoring in science. The current project is a part of a larger study that investigated persistence factors of underrepresented woman who were enrolled as science majors at United States colleges and universities. This paper focuses on one theme that emerged among six participants who disclosed how religion was a significant influence on their persistence in science fields. The strength and support offered by religious values is certainly not specific to science content; however, the support received from their beliefs highlights a potential area for further exploration. Given the importance of increasing participation by students from diverse backgrounds into science fields, it is critical to recognize how some of these differences may be the key factors influencing the way these students look at the world. This study offers evidence that science educators need to consider what role religious beliefs have for students who may be considering science or science education as a future career, particularly for those students from underrepresented groups.