My identity as an educational technologist and psychologist and a queer, immigrant, woman of color, shape my interest in and use of critical pedagogies in STEM disciplines, particularly computer science, to create inclusive and equitable spaces for teaching and learning. These intersectional identities help me empathetically unravel the life stories of women and people of color as depicted in their gendered and racialized experiences. Throughout my work, I use culturally responsive, intersectional feminist lenses with the aim of systemically dismantling the barriers that prevent the pursuits of women and people of color in STEM fields. By using these critical lenses, I seek to design technologically equipped classroom environments and build pedagogical practices that provide students of color an equitable and inclusive learning space.
Taking inspiration from the humanizing, culturally sensitive, and socioculturally grounded works of Freire (2000), Crenshaw (1989), and Ladson-Billings (2000), I am critical of the single-sided narratives that erase the stories of people of color and create a distorted analysis of race and sexism nationally and internationally. The critical lenses of culture, race, and gender provide me with the tools to seek equitable, inclusive and decolonial ways of thinking about science, engineering, and computer science education. My work embodies three main worldviews – culturally responsive, intersectional feminist, and activist.
As a scholar, these three lenses inform my work and so far, have helped me explore the complexities of culture, gender, and race in science, engineering, and computer science education. For instance, in the field of computer science, my identity as an immigrant women of color and a computer science engineer has helped me tease apart the nuances and complexities prevalent in the heteronormative, male dominated, western ways of knowing and engaging in computer coding that do not reflect the experiences of women and students of color aspiring to be computer scientists. This identity also lends itself to my work on understanding how educational technologists view issues of inclusivity, diversity, and equity in the design and development of educational programming software. In science education, I question the normative ways of engaging in science that marginalize and dissociate people from the cultural and social practices of knowing and doing science. In engineering education, I break disciplinary teaching boundaries by using the lens of design thinking in case studies to design courses for first-generation historically minoritized students to help them explore their creative potentials by working closely with local communities and building on community-based practices.
My personal and educational experiences take various forms and builds bridges across disciplines raising questions that cut across multiple methods and approaches. To organize my work, I label them under two overarching categories: technology and computing and intersectional culturally responsive thinking.