B.S. 1989 – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Science Teaching (chemistry)
Areas of Expertise
Socio-cultural dimensions of science learning
Broadening participation in STEM
STEM Education policy
African American education
Cultural relevance and cultural responsiveness in science education
Critical Race Theory
Eileen R. Carlton Parsons specializes in inclusivity, specifically racial equity and cultural responsiveness at all levels of an organization, from individual interactions to the operation of systems. She began her career in curriculum and instruction, particularly in science teaching, and became interested in equity and cultural responsiveness as a consequence of consistent patterns she observed in individuals’ interactions, policies, and systems in a myriad of contexts.
Eileen Parsons studies the influences of socio-cultural factors, specifically race and culture, on learning in science and participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Her research uses primarily, but not exclusively, qualitative methods to investigate the cultural and racial responsiveness of practices with respect to African American students in K-12 learning environments with a focus on middle school and cultural and racial inclusiveness for traditionally underrepresented students of color in undergraduate STEM. Learning and participation of students of color also foreground her scholarship. Her scholarship centers and extends critical and socio-cultural theories that weigh the historical and contemporary positioning of people of color. Her research and scholarship are inspired by the belief that diverse perspectives and voices result in the most innovative, equitable, and productive approaches to a society’s challenges.
Parsons’ future research and scholarship interests include an equity and inclusivity focus for K-postsecondary cross-disciplinary research on students of color oriented towards the changing of STEM education policy and systems in STEM Education.