effects of interactions with teachers and/or coaches, and how are those interactions affected by the identity roles assumed by the students and their teachers and coaches? What is the influence of early immersion programs in mathematics or in science in the development of Hispanic males’ sense of a “science identity”8 and their success in STEM?

  • Effective pedagogy and instruction: What are the components of models of success at the precollege and undergraduate levels? What is the role of culturally relevant pedagogy? How important are early immersion research opportunities in retaining Hispanic American males? What are particularly effective models of foundation mathematics and English instruction in the context of STEM?
  • Mentoring: The most significant questions in this strand concern the preparation of effective mentors and their engagement to reach more students. How are teachers and faculty enabled to mentor Latino men? How might miscommunications resulting from differences be minimized between faculty and students? What incentives exist for teachers and faculty to serve as mentors and how effective are such incentives? What are the characteristics of effective mentors and how can they be replicated? How are teacher and faculty mentors best used without straining their professional, psychological, or physical well-being?

Breakout Group 1C: Researchers with a Focus on Native American and Asian Pacific Islanders (Including Native Hawaiians)

Some members of this breakout group noted that among Native Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders, societal and cultural issues underlie a variety of other significant challenges (e.g., low socioeconomic status and associated problems with community safety, school quality, and teacher quality) to STEM participation and performance. Research may need to focus on the following questions:

  • What drives low rates of educational interest and attainment of Native American males as well as high rates of incarceration and military service? What are the language and cultural barriers? In particular, what steps can be taken to reverse the commonly held view that higher education, particularly for Native American males, is a selfish pursuit that does not contribute to the general welfare of their families and communities?
  • What is the role of education in traditional-culture versus dominant-culture settings? How does the lack of household and educational resources (often meager in comparison to those of majority communities) affect Native American males’ participation in STEM?
  • How can pursuit of STEM education be facilitated for Native American males?

Participants in the breakout group articulated a number of challenges specific to Native American males. For example, unlike the other underrepresented minority populations, Native Americans have sovereign political identities and may identify as Native American, indigenous, or by tribal affiliation. Similarly, there are very distinct groups in Native American communities,


8 Another important concept is self-efficacy, which is “belief in one’s ability to perform a specific task.” It can affect the goals one sets and “is related to the adoption of more challenging goals and greater commitment to those goals.” See the Self-Efficacy in STEM Information Sheet, a product of the NAE and SWE-AWE. www.engr.psu.edu/awe/misc/ARPs/ARP_SelfEfficacy_InfoSheet_122208.pdf.

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