Organizational Approaches to Systemic DEAI Change in the Informal Science Education Field

Friday, July 23, 2021
Resource Type:
Research Case Study | Research | Research Products | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Interview Protocol | Observation Protocol
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Museum and Science Center Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Professional Development and Workshops
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators | Learning Researchers
General STEM
Access and Inclusion: 
Asian Communities
Black/African American Communities
Hispanic/Latinx Communities
Indigenous and Tribal Communities
Pacific Islander Communities
Immigrant Communities
Women and Girls
People with Disabilities
English Language Learners
Low Socioeconomic Status
Science Museum of Minnesota

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.

Funding Program: 
Award Number: 

Team Members

Megan GoekeAuthor
Choua HerChoua HerAuthor

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