WUSTL to hold conference on diversity in science education

The Department of Education in Arts & Sciences will host a one-day conference on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education on Friday, Nov. 5, in Seigle Hall, Room 148.

Titled “Beyond Stock Stories and Folktales: African Americans and the Pipeline to the Professoriate: An Evidence-Based Examination of STEM Fields,” the conference will focus on diversity in science education.

“In part, the idea for this conference was borne out of frustration,” says William F. Tate, PhD, the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences and chair of the Department of Education.

“Over the years, I have asked colleagues across the country about the production of African-American scholars or the supply side of human capital development in their respective fields,” Tate says. “Their responses were rarely based on evidence or sound research. Instead, a pattern emerged where stock stories or old narratives that seem to have passed down over the years were predominant.”

Tate’s aim for the conference is to bring together leading researchers and thought leaders in STEM fields who have empirically-based papers related to the development of African Americans.

“This information will be shared locally for our community, as well as provide a foundation for an edited volume on this topic,” Tate says. “We want to move the conversation beyond stock stories to empirically-based examinations of critical factors that influence the production of African-American scholars.”

The conference is co-sponsored by a diversity and inclusion grant from the Office of the Provost; the Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences; the Center for Regional Competitiveness in Science and Technology; the Program in African and African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences; the Department of Education; and the National Science Foundation.

Applications remain open through Friday, Nov. 5, for diversity and inclusion grant proposals for 2010-11. See news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/21277.aspx for more information.

For more information on the conference, contact the Department of Education at (314) 935-6730.