Elizabeth Stearns

Elizabeth Stearns
University of North Carolina at Charlotte | UNC Charlotte · Department of Sociology

About

60
Publications
18,198
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,696
Citations
Citations since 2016
19 Research Items
1224 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
July 2005 - present
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Position
  • Professor of Sociology and Public Policy

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Background/Context The underrepresentation of students from lower socioeconomic status (LSES) backgrounds among college graduates with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees, and consequently in STEM occupations, is a concern with respect to reducing, perpetuating, or increasing social inequality. The loss of their talent...
Article
Full-text available
Background Repeated calls to diversify the population of students earning undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields have noted the greater diversity of community college students and their potential to thus have an impact on the racial/ethnic composition of 4-year degree earners. In this paper, we inve...
Article
Full-text available
Background It is well-documented that experiences in STEM courses for women and students of color are different from the experiences of White men. As part of a larger interview study, 183 college seniors from diverse gender and race backgrounds were asked their thoughts on whether the experience of being a STEM major was different for people of dif...
Article
This article investigates whether attending a community college is related to an increase in the number of students majoring and graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at four‐year colleges. We follow a longitudinal sample of students in North Carolina from middle school through college graduation, includ...
Article
The adoption of market theory as a guiding principle of education policy increased the need for assessments of school performance that families could use to compare academic benefits of attending one school to another. Prominent among measures used by states are the school proficiency and growth indicators resulting from high-stakes tests. Using a...
Article
Using a multimethod approach, we investigate whether gender gaps in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) major declaration in college are explained by differences in the grades that students earn in STEM versus non-STEM subjects. With quantitative data, we find that relative advantages in college academic performance in STEM ver...
Article
Full-text available
Background Women and students of color are widely underrepresented in the majority of STEM fields. In order to investigate this underrepresentation, we interviewed over 200 male and female college seniors, primarily women and people of color, who either majored in STEM or started but dropped a STEM major. Here, we focus on one section of the longer...
Article
Full-text available
Background Women and students of color are widely underrepresented in most STEM fields. In order to investigate this underrepresentation, we interviewed 201 college seniors, primarily women and people of color, who either majored in STEM or started but dropped a STEM major. Here we discuss one section of the longer interview that focused on student...
Article
We analyze longitudinal data from students who spent their academic careers in North Carolina (NC) public secondary schools and attended NC public universities to investigate the importance of high school racial composition and opportunities to learn in secondary school for choosing a STEM major. We consider school racial composition and opportunit...
Article
This article investigates whether attending a high school that offers a specialized science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics program (high school with a STEM program) boosts the number of students majoring in STEM when they are in college. We use a longitudinal sample of students in North Carolina, whom we follow from middle school thro...
Article
Studies have not conclusively established whether teacher job satisfaction improves student achievement or whether the advantages to students from having satisfied teachers vary with the broader school culture. In this article, we investigate two research questions: (1) Is there a relationship between teacher job satisfaction and students’ math and...
Article
Latino/a students’ low mathematics achievement is a pressing issue given their increasing numbers in the United States. This study explores the relationship between teacher collaboration and Latino students’ math achievement, taking into account the great diversity of Latinos/as in America. Using multilevel growth models, we analyze Early Childhood...
Article
Gender differences in arts consumption have early roots among adolescents. Girls have historically dominated participation in extracurricular arts activities. Yet research does not consider whether gender gaps in participation are consistent across schools and whether school-based resources might influence them. In this paper, we combine data on ni...
Article
Full-text available
In this study we investigate Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) high school graduates’ academic performance in the first year of college and test whether their exposure to racial segregation in high school at both the school and classroom levels affected their college freshman grade point averages. Utilizing administrative data from the Roots of S...
Article
Given the prestige and compensation of science and math-related occupations, the underrepresentation of women and people of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors (STEM) perpetuates entrenched economic and social inequities. Explanations for this underrepresentation have largely focused on individual characteristics, incl...
Article
Full-text available
Research on the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) “pipeline” has charted the loss of potential STEM talent throughout students’ secondary and postsecondary trajectories. One source of STEM talent loss that has been commonly suggested throughout the literature is the lack of family friendly flexibility in STEM careers. This ex...
Article
Background/Context Teacher job satisfaction is critical to schools’ success. As organizations, schools need teachers who are satisfied with their jobs and who work with one another to build school community and increase student achievement. School organizational culture shapes teacher job satisfaction in many ways, but it is still unclear which fac...
Article
Full-text available
Public education is a sphere of society in which distributive justice with respect to the allocation of opportunities to learn can have profound and lasting effects on students’ educational outcomes. We frame our study in the distributive justice literature, and define just outcomes specifically from a meritocratic and strict egalitarian perspectiv...
Article
Schools are integral to augmenting and diversifying the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. This is because K–12 schools can inspire and reinforce students’ interest in STEM, in addition to academically preparing them to pursue a STEM career. Previous literature emphasizes the importance of high-quality STEM academic...
Article
Schools are integral to augmenting, diversifying, and equalizing the STEM workforce because schools can inspire and reinforce students’ interest in STEM in addition to academically prepare them to be able to follow a STEM career. This study examines the influence of high school exposure to basic STEM courses, high school exposure to STEM-related en...
Conference Paper
This study examines the effect of attending a high school that offers a program focused towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics on students’ STEM college outcomes. Previous studies have looked at the impact of attending math and science focused schools mainly through qualitative analyses of isolated cases. In this study we look at...
Article
We argue that Latino/a students are more likely to major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in college if they were educated in high schools where they studied with satisfied teachers who worked in collaborative professional communities. Quantitative results demonstrate that collaborative professional communities in high school ar...
Article
Full-text available
Analyzing Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey Kindergarten (ECLS-K) data, we examine how exposure to instructional practices influences math test scores at the end of kindergarten for children from different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and for children with different levels of math skills at kindergarten entry. We also analyze the...
Article
Full-text available
Student engagement with school symbolizes efforts toward learning and is one of the strongest predictors of academic success. However, returns to engagement vary across racial and ethnic groups. Scholars have established that human agency is constrained by organizational environments, but they have not adequately assessed whether the advantages ass...
Article
Teacher job satisfaction is critical to schools' successful functioning. Using a representative sample of kindergarten teachers from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, we investigate the association among professional learning community and teacher collaboration, teacher ethno-racial group, teacher-student ethno-racial mismatch, and teacher jo...
Article
Full-text available
Gender gaps in learning and education outcomes have changed dramatically over the last few years. However, researchers have not adequately assessed how the high school learning environment differentially affects boys and girls. An important component of the learning environment in US secondary school is the opportunity to learn in an Advanced Place...
Article
Full-text available
Scholars have not adequately assessed how organizational cultures in schools differentially influence students’ mathematics achievement by race and socioeconomic status (SES). We focus on what we term collective pedagogical teacher culture, highlighting the role of professional communities and teacher collaboration in influencing mathematics achiev...
Article
Full-text available
Historically, African Americans and white girls have not had the same access to playing sports as white boys have had. Changes in laws led to racial integration of sports teams and equal athletic opportunities for girls. Yet, racial and gender gaps in playing sports persist, and intersections between race and gender, as well as different contexts o...
Article
Education researchers have established that educational tracking reinforces inequalities, but they have not fully examined the affect of these tracks on labor market outcomes for men and women of different races/ethnicities. At the same time, labor market researchers have studied the association between education and income by race and gender, but...
Article
Researchers who examine the link between high school achievement and educational outcomes include measures of achievement that conflate high school effects with achievement effects established prior to high school. Using data from the National Education Longitudinal Study, this article disaggregates achievement into achievement prior to high school...
Book
Background/Context: Teacher job satisfaction is critical to schools' success. As organizations, schools need teachers who are satisfied with their jobs and who work with one another to buildschool community and increase student achievement. School organizational culture shapesteacher job satisfaction in many ways, but it is still unclear which face...
Article
Full-text available
Race shapes many aspects of students’ high school experiences that are relevant to the college admissions process. We examine the racially-specific effects of high school course of study on college selectivity. Using NELS 1988–1994, we test how race and track interactively predict the prestige of the first post-secondary institution attended. We fi...
Article
Perpetuation theory predicts that attending a racially segregated school paves the way for a lifetime of segregated experiences in neighborhoods, schools, and jobs. Research conducted in the 1970s and 1980s linked racial isolation in high schools with later racial isolation in many social settings among African-American students. Racial isolation i...
Article
Studies suggest that students who participate in extracurricular activities benefit in a number of ways. However, schools provide different opportunities to participate in these activities. Using information from high school yearbooks and administrative data on students and schools in North Carolina, we examine whether school characteristics influe...
Article
Full-text available
Because of segregation in neighborhoods and schools, college may provide the first opportunity for many young adults to interact closely with members of different racial and ethnic groups. Little research has examined how interracial friendships form during this period. This article investigates changes in the racial composition of friendship netwo...
Article
This study investigated the effects of the peer social context and child characteristics on the growth of authority-acceptance behavior problems across first, second, and third grades, using data from the normative sample of the Fast Track Project. Three hundred sixty-eight European American and African American boys and girls (51% male; 46% Africa...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated the effects of the peer social context and child characteristics on the growth of authority-acceptance behavior problems across first, second, and third grades, using data from the normative sample of the Fast Track Project. Three hundred sixty-eight European American and African American boys and girls (51% male; 46% Africa...
Article
Full-text available
Students who repeat a grade prior to high school have a higher risk of dropping out of high school than do students who are continuously promoted. This study tested whether standard theories of dropout--including the participation-identification model and the social capital model--explain this link. Although the presence of variables, including aca...
Article
Full-text available
Teens may leave school because of academic failure, disciplinary problems, or employment opportunities. In this article, the authors test whether the reasons dropouts leave school differ by grade level and age. We compare dropout rates and reasons across grade levels and ages for all high school students, ethnic groups, and gender groups. Across al...
Article
Educational and psychological researchers have long debated the relationship between retention and achievement. However, quantitative research on achievement trajectories has neglected this important variable. Given that retention policies are being institutionalized in schools, it is important to understand the relationship between retention and a...
Article
How does the social organization of American public high schools influence opportunities for interracial contact and friendship among their students? The author examines the influence of tracking differentiation, the extent to which students are separated into different academic tracks, on the degree of interracial friendliness in public high schoo...
Article
Full-text available
Much of sociological analysis is devoted to assessing the relative importance of ascribed and achieved characteristics for social mobility. In this article, we extend this line of sociological work by focusing on children's differential opportunity to achieve their genetic potential for intellectual development. We hypothesize that the extent to wh...
Article
A recent study of ninth- and tenth-grade dropouts in North Carolina shows that Hispanic adolescents have the highest early dropout rate among the state's largest ethnic groups. This relationship persists when boys and girls are analyzed separately: Hispanic boys are more likely to drop out early than other boys are, and Hispanic girls are more like...
Article
This study fi nds signifi cant differences between white and nonwhite teens in the extent to which they value integrity. The Integrity Scale (IS) is based on items from the High School Effectiveness Study, the metropolitan supplement to the National Education Longitudinal Study, and includes questions about cheating on tests, disobeying school rule...
Article
Status claims are made with statements, behaviors, or symbols that indicate to others one's membership in a particular status group. Having one's status claims accepted by others confers status honor, which is critically important not only for dignity but also for one's life chances. Our main argument is that people's felt need to make status claim...
Article
Neighborhoods vary in the extent to which they are socially and culturally diverse and whether there is little or much economic inequality. They also vary in the extent to which racial differences are confounded with economic ones. This study included measures of these neighborhood characteristics, along with a measure of school problems, to predic...
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 115-127). Microfiche. s

Network

Cited By