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PERC 2022 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Exploring stereotype threat and imposter syndrome among physics teachers
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: Physics continues to be one of the fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that fosters an environment where physics teachers feel a lack of sense of belonging and pressure. In conjunction with one another, both sense of belonging and pressure ultimately lead to physics teachers experiencing  stereotype threat (ST) and imposter syndrome (IS). In order to further understand what contributes to this, in this  study we focused on three teachers' experiences with stereotype threat (ST) and imposter syndrome (IS). Volunteer teachers from a summer professional development workshop participated in focus group interviews intended to allow them to share their experiences in dealing with ST and IS. Findings show that ST and IS indeed impact physics teachers in two primary ways: sense of belonging and pressure. We define sense of belonging as the belief that they (physics teachers) were not welcomed and accepted in physics spaces, and pressure as an external influence to perform at a particular level in order to be accepted. These findings suggest strategies that can better support teachers from an instructional and identity perspective, while addressing their feelings towards sense of belonging and pressure. This study urges the PER community to pay attention to physics teachers' challenges so that it can create environments that allow physics teachers to thrive, take risks, develop a positive self-efficacy, and increase their self-concept.
Session Time: Poster Session 1
Poster Number: I-29

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Clausell Mathis
Michigan State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jessica Hernandez (she/her), University of Washington - Bothell