Educational researchers have explored the importance of performance, recognition, and interest in establishing and maintaining a STEM identity. Research has also demonstrated that the ways students describe themselves and how they participate in STEM communities can provide insight into their role identity salience; however, there has been little work to explore the ontological beliefs of students about STEM people and how this influences their ability to see themselves as possessing a STEM identity. This research explores the ontological beliefs of high school students, with specific attention to the ways in which they describe what constitutes a math person, science person, physics person, or engineer and how these descriptions influence their ability to take on these role identities.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.