Organizational Approaches to Systemic DEAI Change in the Informal Science Education Field
Framing: Broadening participation and achieving equitable outcomes has been a core goal of the science museum field for over two decades. However, how to make progress has proven an intractable problem.
Methods: Focusing on five organizations who officially committed to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion (DEAI) by participating in a national professional development program, the researchers investigate how science museums attempt to enact internally-focused change via a mixed methods case study.
Findings: While these organizations considered a variety of structurally focused change possibilities, the reality of tensions involving power hierarchies, organizational history, and dominant culture workplace norms resulted in change attempts that were limited in scope and constrained impact on museum staff.
Conclusions: These findings reaffirm the need for visions of systemic change in order for DEAI organizational change efforts to take root and flourish. Limitations and needs for future research are discussed.