School Science and Mathematics
agency, figured worlds, identity work, positioning, successful girls in science
This study presents the recollections of 12 successful women in science duringtheir school years before postsecondary education. The participants shareddetailed descriptions of their science experiences through three semi-structured interviews. An identity works conceptual framework consisting offigured worlds, positioning, and agency constructs to portray the complexdynamics of their experiences was used to analyze the data. The following fourthemes emerged from the data analysis: participants had an early interest inmathematics and science; they were“stubbornly”persistent in science-figuredworlds; they engaged in science-figured worlds beyond school; and they posi-tioned themselves as science leaders. These findings add to the evolution of sci-ence identity development theoretical models because they are from anondeficit perspective. Participants engaged in identity work that advancedtheir science identities despite the gender biases in science-figured worlds.From a practical stance, girls and women could employ the agentic and posi-tive positioning identity work that the findings show to develop their scienceidentity in educational contexts. Science educators and researchers are encour-aged to structure figured worlds where girls feel empowered to enact identitywork to build strong science identities.
Hall, Jonathan L. and Butler, Malcom B., "Much to do about identity: Successful women in science reflect on their school years" (2022). Teacher Education and Technology Faculty Publications. 6.