The publication was borne out of data Kang collected while a doctoral student at Michigan State University. During the project, Kang shadowed a group of seventh- and eighth-grade girls at an urban middle school for one year. She found that the Black students’ discourse and attitude toward science dramatically changed over the course of just one year. Their brilliant ideas and rich experiences outside the classrooms were not leveraged, their peers did not recognize them as capable of doing the work, and support was not provided.
“That still resonates with me today,” Kang said. “Before that, I was looking at the teacher’s perspective, but after that I learned how difficult it is for marginalized students to navigate spaces, and I began looking at problems from both a teacher and student perspective.”
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Kang’s research explores the design and impact of innovations that support early career teachers' learning of equitable science teaching. In her study of youth's engagement and identities in science, she focuses on girls from non-dominant linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
At the UCI School of Education, Kang teaches in both the Ph.D. and the Master of Arts in Teaching programs, sharing knowledge she has gleaned from her cross-cultural teaching experiences in Korea and the U.S.
Kang, H., Calabrese Barton, A., Tan, E., Simpkins, S. D., Rhee, H., Turner, C. (2019). How do middle school girls of color develop STEM identities? Middle school girls’ participation in science activities and identification with STEM careers? Science Education, 103(2), 418-439.