Author ORCID Identifier

Monica E. Cardella: 0000-0002-4229-6183


A major concern in engineering education involves ensuring that youth belonging to minoritized groups have equitable access to engineering career pathways. Related research often highlights the effect of student and school characteristics on engineering success but few studies have investigated the engineering-related assets that Black families provide. This work aims to provide counterstories that highlight the presence of Black families along the pre-college engineering pathways of three Black youth from the Midwest region of the United States. The application of a counternarrative approach centers the familial capital of Black families and serves as the analytical frame for this work. The interview instruments elicited narratives related to the quality and nature of the children’s engineering experiences and family support. We found that Black families employed eight specific supportive practices. These findings provide evidence of ways that Black families support engineering learning and refute the positioning of Black families as resource-deficient and under-engaged. This work contributes to the engineering education and family studies fields.



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