The access network: Supporting the construction of social justice physics identities through student partnerships
This paper explores the intersections of Students as Partners (SaP) and identity development. While identity and sense of belonging are known to be key factors for predicting success and persistence in STEM, less is known about how student partnerships can provide space for students to develop their identities. To explore this space, we focus on the Access Network, a coalition funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of student-run programs that aims to improve equity in the physical sciences. Qualitative interviews with six student participants showed how SaP created opportunities for students to develop social justice physics identities, which allowed them to bridge traditional notions of what it means to be a physicist with their own social justice commitments. This paper contributes to the rapidly growing SaP literature by studying student partnerships at the scale of a national network of institutions, which contrasts studies that focus on more localized contexts, such as teaching and learning in a single classroom.
American Physical Society. (2012). Award for improving undergraduate physics education awardees. Retrieved from http://www.aps.org/programs/education/undergrad/faculty/awardees.cfm
Behrman, J. (2018). Domesticating physics. Physics Today, 71(5), 50-56. https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.3922
Berggren, C., Gandhi, P., Livezey, J. A., & Olf, R. (2018). A tale of two slinkies: Learning about model building in a student-driven classroom. The Physics Teacher, 56(3), 134-137. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5025285
Bovill, C. (2017). A framework to explore roles within student-staff partnerships in higher education: Which students are partners, when, and in what ways? International Journal for Students as Partners, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v1i1.3062
Cammarata, S., & Owens, P. (2017). The IMPRESS program at RIT. PERCoGS Newsletter, Special Issue 3, 8.
Cech, E., & Waidzunas, T. (2018). STEM inclusion study organization report: APS. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan. Retrieved from https://www.steminclusion.com/
Dounas-Frazer, D. R., Hyater-Adams, S. A., & Reinholz, D. L. (2017). Learning to do diversity work: A model for continued education of program organizers. The Physics Teacher, 55(6), 342-346. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4999728
Dounas-Frazer, D. R., Lynn, J., Zaniewski, A. M., & Roth, N. (2012). Learning about non-Newtonian fluids in a student-driven classroom. The Physics Teacher, 51(1), 32-34. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4772035
Dunne, E., & Zandstra, R. (2011). Students as change agents—New ways of engaging with learning and teaching in higher education. Bristol: A Joint University of Exeter/ESCalate/HE Academy Publication.
Eccles, J. (2009). Who am I and what am I going to do with my life? Personal and collective identities as motivators of action. Educational Psychologist, 44(2), 78-89. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520902832368
Fraser, J., & Ward, P. (2009). ISE professionals’ knowledge and attitudes regarding science identity for learners in informal environments: Results of a national survey. ILI Draft Report, 91104.
Good, C., Rattan, A., & Dweck, C. S. (2012). Why do women opt out? Sense of belonging and women’s representation in mathematics. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(4), 700-717. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026659
Hand, V., & Gresalfi, M. (2015). The joint accomplishment of identity. Educational Psychologist, 50(3), 190-203. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2015.1075401
Harper, S. R. (2012). Race without racism: How higher education researchers minimize racist institutional norms. The Review of Higher Education, 36(1), 9-29. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2012.0047
Harrell, P. E., & Forney, W. S. (2003). Ready or not, here we come: Retaining Hispanic and first-generation students in postsecondary education. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 27(2), 147-156. https://doi.org/10.1080/713838112
Hazari, Z., Sonnert, G., Sadler, P. M., & Shanahan, M.-C. (2010). Connecting high school physics experiences, outcome expectations, physics identity, and physics career choice: A gender study. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(8), 978-1003. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.20363
Healey, M. (2016). Students as partners and change agents. Healey HE Consultants: Howden.
Healey, M., Flint, A., & Harrington, K. (2014). Framework for partnership in learning and teaching in higher education. York: The Higher Education Academy.
Heron, P., & McNeil, L. (2016). Phys21: Preparing physics students for 21st-century careers. College Park, MD: American Physical Society: Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs. Retrieved from http://www.compadre.org/JTUPP/docs/J-Tupp_Report.pdf
Holland, D., & Cole, M. (1995). Between discourse and schema: Reformulating a cultural-historical approach to culture and mind. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 26(4), 475-490.
Hyater-Adams, S., Fracchiolla, C., Finkelstein, N., & Hinko, K. (2018). Critical look at physics identity: An operationalized framework for examining race and physics identity. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.14.010132
Jackson, P. W. (1968). Life in Classrooms. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Kelsky, K. (2017, December 1). A crowdsourced survey of sexual harassment in the academy [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://theprofessorisin.com/2017/12/01/a-crowdsourced-survey-of-sexual-harassment-in-the-academy/
La Guardia, J. G. (2009). Developing who I am: A self-determination theory approach to the establishment of healthy identities. Educational Psychologist, 44(2), 90-104. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520902832350
Laursen, S., Hunter, A.-B., Seymour, E., Thiry, H., & Melton, G. (2010). Undergraduate research in the sciences: Engaging students in real science. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Marks, N.-K., & Dawod, R. (2016). How to IMPRESS: Coordinating a large video data set for a collaborative project. DePaul Discoveries, 5(1), 22.
Martin, D. B. (2009). Researching race in mathematics education. Teachers College Record, 111(2), 295-338.
Master, A., Cheryan, S., & Meltzoff, A. N. (2016). Computing whether she belongs: Stereotypes undermine girls’ interest and sense of belonging in computer science. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(3), 424-437. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000061
Matthews, K. E. (2016). Students as partners as the future of student engagement. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 1(1).
Matthews, K. E. (2017). Five Propositions for genuine students as partners practice. International Journal for Students as Partners, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v1i2.3315
Matthews, K. E., Cook-Sather, A., Acai, A., Dvorakova, S. L., Felten, P., Marquis, E., & Mercer-Mapstone, L. (2019). Toward theories of partnership praxis: An analysis of interpretive framing in literature on students as partners in teaching and learning. Higher Education Research & Development, 38(2), 280-293. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1530199
McGee, E. O., & Bentley, L. (2017). The troubled success of Black women in STEM. Cognition and Instruction, 35(4), 265-289. https://doi.org/10.1080/07370008.2017.1355211
Mercer-Mapstone, L., Dvorakova, S. L., Matthews, K. E., Abbot, S., Cheng, B., Felten, P., Knorr, K., Marquis, E., Shammas, R., & Swaim, K. (2017). A systematic literature review of students as partners in higher education. International Journal for Students as Partners, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v1i1.3119
Nasir, N. S. (2002). Identity, goals, and learning: Mathematics in cultural practice. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 4(2-3), 213-247. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327833MTL04023_6
Nasir, N. S. (2011). Racialized identities: Race and achievement among African American youth. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
National Science Board. (2018). Science and engineering indicators (NSB-2018-1). Alexandria, VA: National Science Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2018/nsb20181/assets/nsb20181.pdf
Ong, M. (2005). Body projects of young women of color in physics: Intersections of gender, race, and science. Social Problems, 52(4), 593-617. https://doi.org/10.1525/sp.2005.52.4.593
Oyserman, D., Bybee, D., & Terry, K. (2006). Possible selves and academic outcomes: How and when possible selves impel action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(1), 188.
Pasupathi, M., Stallworth, L. M., & Murdoch, K. (1998). How what we tell becomes what we know: Listener effects on speakers’ long-term memory for events. Discourse Processes, 26(1), 1-25.
Rainey, K., Dounas-Frazer, D. R., & Huynh, J. (2016). CU-Prime: A student-led community at the University of Colorado Boulder, PERCoGS Newsletter, 7, 67.
Reinholz, D. L., & Dounas-Frazer, D. R. (2017). Personalized instructor responses to guided student reflections: Analysis of two instructors’ perspectives and practices. American Journal of Physics, 85(11), 850-860. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5002683
Rosa, K., & Mensah, F. M. (2016). Educational pathways of Black women physicists: Stories of experiencing and overcoming obstacles in life. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.12.020113
Sabella, M. S., Mardis, K. L., Sanders, N., & Little, A. (2017). The Chi-Sci Scholars Program: Developing community and challenging racially inequitable measures of success at a minority-serving institution on Chicago’s Southside. The Physics Teacher, 55(6), 350-355. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.4999730
Sabella, M. S., Van Duzor, A. G., & Davenport, F. (2016). Leveraging the expertise of the urban STEM student in developing an effective LA Program: LA and Instructor Partnerships (pp. 288–291). Proceedings of the 2016 Physics Education Research Conference. Retrieved from https://www.compadre.org/per/items/detail.cfm?ID=14250
Seymour, E., & Hewitt, N. M. (1997). Talking about leaving: Why undergraduates leave the sciences (Vol. 12). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Shah, N. (2017). Race, ideology, and academic ability: A relational analysis of racial narratives in mathematics. Teachers College Record, 119(7), 1-42.
Stets, J. E., Brenner, P. S., Burke, P. J., & Serpe, R. T. (2017). The science identity and entering a science occupation. Social Science Research, 64, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.10.016
Tice, D. M. (1992). Self-concept change and self-presentation: The looking glass self is also a magnifying glass. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(3), 435.
Traweek, S. (1988). Beamtimes and lifetimes: The world of high-energy physicists. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Woodcock, A., Hernandez, P. R., & Schultz, P. W. (2016). Diversifying science: Intervention programs moderate the effect of stereotype threat on motivation and career choice. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7(2), 184-192.
Zaniewski, A. M., & Reinholz, D. L. (2016). Increasing STEM success: A near-peer mentoring program in the physical sciences. International Journal of STEM Education, 3(1), 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40594-016-0043-2
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).