Critical Data Science Methods to Broaden Capacity in STEM Education Research
Effective Years: 2024-2026
This project extends the training and community building activities of the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methods (ICQCM), a data science training institute established in 2019. The project seeks to increase the number of faculty and postdoctoral researchers who utilize quantitative and computational research methods in research on populations underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields of study. The goals are to enable participants at the Institute to incorporate quantitative and computational methods in conceptualizing research projects, establish collaborative networks of quantitative and computational research practitioners, and affirm self-efficacy of researchers who are themselves underrepresented in the field through culturally relevant, asset-focused training opportunities. The use of critical perspectives in race/ethnicity responds to a need for more scholars to bring these perspectives to quantitative research to complement the larger number who already routinely do so for qualitative research.
The Institute aims to provide a continuum of training, individual coaching, and proposal development workshops. Towards this goal the project team will pursue four objectives. First is to conduct an assets assessment of a cohort of 25 new ICQCM scholars for training, with a special effort to recruit participants from minority serving institutions. Second is to provide both in-person and virtual data-intensive training in quantitative and computational methods and their integration into mixed methods. Third is to expand the pool of ICQCM Institute Fellows to provide additional networking opportunities. Fourth, and finally, is to expand the ICQCM Knowledge Repository to include Continuing Education Modules toward professional certification in critical quantitative and computational methodologies. The curriculum will have a dual focus on methodological knowledge and specialization and a critical perspective on the use of quantitative and computational methods for research on broadening participation. Topics will include broadening participation frameworks, research design, fundamentals of quantitative methods, and grant proposal development. The Institute is expected to stimulate more researchers from groups that are underrepresented in the field to employ quantitative and computational methods in STEM education research. The project is supported by NSF's EDU Core Research Building Capacity in STEM Education Research (ECR: BCSER) program, which is designed to build investigators’ capacity to carry out high-quality STEM education research.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.