Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Fall 1-5-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Dr. Natalie S. King


This study employed care and community cultural wealth as a lens and utilized community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) to examine and reimagine STEM education in community with Black and Latina coresearchers. The study investigated how Black and Latina coresearchers define care and community within STEM learning spaces, examined the influence of curriculum on their STEM identity development, and explored their positioning as coresearchers in the CBPAR process. Findings revealed that instructional practices in formal STEM learning spaces diminish the humanizing aspects of teaching and learning, resulting in the silencing and invisibility of Black and Latina girls in STEM classrooms; STEM curriculum fails to acknowledge the contributions of people of color and leads Black and Latina girls to feel excluded and discouraged. However, Black and Latina girls, along with their families, leverage their community cultural wealth to support STEM engagement, understanding that care and community play a crucial role in enhancing the well-being of Black and Latina girls as they navigate schooling. Additionally, Black and Latina girls demonstrated agency during the CBPAR process by centering their own stories, serving as a foundation for their action plan aimed at improving the STEM experiences of girls of color. This study amplifies the voices of Black and Latina girls and community members and emphasizes the significance of centering care and community, offering actionable insights to foster inclusivity and humanize STEM education. Humanizing STEM teaching and learning becomes possible by tapping into informal learning environments, leading with care, and recognizing the importance of familial support. This study’s findings underscore the transformative potential of community-informed education.


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