Faculty Publications

Title

Physics Champions Among White Women and People of Color.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2018

Abstract

If a person were to observe my classroom when I taught high school physics, he or she would find the traditional labs with the lectures, notes, and problems to solve that enhanced understanding. As I became more skilled in my profession, I promoted inquiry and critical thinking skills. However, the necessity was never obvious to me, nor was I ever taught how, to address social inequity in physics (let alone did I fully understand it myself). Why was that? My job was to teach concepts such as momentum, forces, inertia, circuits, etc. This list goes on and on. It wasn’t until years later in my career that I began to understand the importance of bringing social inequities in physics to the front of the classroom. It started to become obvious I needed to do something at least in my own classroom when I had difficulties highlighting anyone in physics who was not White and not male. Though this was never my intent while teaching, I believe I helped maintain this social inequity, and perpetuate the idea that physics is for White males (and yes, I am a White male teacher). This article provides arguments and resources for teaching explicitly about equity issues in introductory physics.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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