Invisible Multilingual Black and Brown Girls: Raciolinguistic Narratives of Identity in Science Education

Black and Brown girls are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Although studies have examined the reasons for this by exploring Black and Brown girls' experiences based on culture, gender, and race, there is a need for specifically understanding how language contributes to racialized experiences in science education. This study fills this critical gap by presenting narratives of three academically talented multilingual girls from Black and Brown communities. Utilizing semi-structured interviews, self-identifying questionnaires, and identity-as-narrative analysis, this study demonstrates how the racialized experiences of these multilingual Black and Brown girls influenced their relations to science, ideas about the attributes of a science person, and developing science identities. The findings suggest that although the girls had a strong affiliation with science and academic achievement in science, the girls' experiences were racialized through raciolinguistic ideologies and dominant cultural practices of science, which left them invisibilized and unsure about pursuing a future career in STEM. The implications of this study underline the importance of looking at the problem of underrepresentation as an issue of identification, belonging, and representation rather than an of academic skill or interest.

Harper, A. & Kayumova, S. (2022). Invisible multilingual Black and Brown girls: Raciolinguistic narratives of identity in science education. Journal of Research in Science Teaching.