Term of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Delores D. Liston

Committee Member 1

Stephen Jenkins

Committee Member 2

William Reynolds

Committee Member 3

Sharon Taylor

Abstract

This study focused on the lives of women majoring in science at a two-year institution. The specific research goal was to investigate the lived experiences of first year female science majors at Waycross College, relevant to their career choices. The participants in this study consisted of 6 young women enrolled as science majors in the fall semester of 2005. Two interview sessions were conducted during their first year of study. They were able to share their stories as young women and share their perspectives relative to their chosen fields of study. Analyzed using the feminist standpoint theory perspective of Sandra Harding, the interviews revealed several emerging themes. First, all of the participants indicated some form of parental support throughout the duration of the study. They all indicated that one or both parents were a constant resource for encouragement in their career pursuits. Second, the influence of boyfriends played a significant role in the decision-making processes of the participants. Third, most of the participants revealed either negative advising experiences or no advising experiences at all. There was certainly an obvious decline in the quality of the advising experiences for all of the participants. Last, the analysis of the interviews revealed that the participants felt no connection to or within their chosen majors. There was an absence of mentoring programs, friendship networks in the classes, and social or organizational opportunities 2 that could prove advantageous in improving the experiences of women majoring in the sciences.

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