BOX 2: Key Framework Questions for Each Major Area of Inquiry

Identify challenges:

  • Do male views of masculinity play into their decisions to pursue (or to not pursue) specific fields in STEM?
  • What role do masculinity and gender play in the pursuit of science (e.g., the “feminization of science”; characterization of disciplines as “soft” vs. “hard”)?
  • What can be learned from a review of the data on students being “pushed out” or transferring from one science field to another? What role does microaggression play?
  • How might deficit cognitive frame theory,a specifically with regards to faculty attitudes, improve understanding of the experience of minority males in STEM?

Manifestations (characterize how challenges are manifested in target populations):

  • How might a review of cumulative advantage inform efforts to understand the experience of minority males? What are some best practices for creating a system of cumulative advantage in STEM for minority males? Are there different models at different educational levels?

Mechanisms (examine underlying mechanisms and remediation strategies):

  • What layers of context should be taken into consideration in developing complex and comprehensive models of research interventions that include attention to individuals and families? How such models might be informed by a review of social, racial, policy, and ecological frameworks?

Success models (provide models of innovative and successful approaches to overcoming the challenges):

How might the following models (in whole or in part) improve understanding of what works to enhance the academic and career prospects of minority males?

  • Resiliency and coping models
  • Critical race theory (CRT), specifically with respect to interest convergenceb
  • “Academic identification,” based on how well male students perform academically
  • “Self theory,” based on encouragement of students to see themselves in STEM programs and careers

aAccording to Estela Maria Bensimon (“Closing the Achievement Gap in Higher Education: An Organizational Learning Perspective” in New Directions for Higher Education, No. 131, Fall 2005, p. 103), deficit cognitive frame theory “focus[es] on stereotypical characteristics associated with the culture of disadvantage and poverty.”

bAccording to interest convergence theory, substantive gains for minorities will occur only when they converge with the interests of the majority. See Derrick Bell’s seminal article in the Harvard Law Review 518 (1980).

Source: Participants in Breakout Group 2D.

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