REIMAGINING ADOLESCENT BLACK GIRLS’ COMPUTING FUTURES USING BLACK FEMINIST-WOMANIST RESTORYING THROUGH DESIGN METHODOLOGIES
This thesis proposes the integration of Black Feminist-Womanist methodologies in computing education to enliven justice and future-oriented scholarship related to adolescent Black girls, whose capacities to imagine futures related to computing are silenced by narratives of white supremacy, patriarchal masculinity and anti-Blackness that are normalized across computing science. Building on critical computing and literacy studies, I examined restorying through design as a pedagogical approach for weaving the learning of computational concepts and skills with criticality as nondominant youth designed possible futures with computing technologies. During Spring and Summer of 2021, I designed and implemented a two-part, informal STEM workshop for 14 consenting/assenting adolescent youth, who designed interactive electronic textiles (hereafter, e-textiles) quilt patches that “restoried” dominant narratives about computing technology. Analyzing how dominant narratives at the societal level engender oppression at the interactional or identity level within computing education, I asked: (1) What were the principles and practices that comprised restorying through design?; (2a) What did youth create and experience while engaging in restorying through design?; (2b) How did youth’s restorying through design practices reflect Black women’s histories and methods of resistance? and (3) What social, cultural, and material factors might have shaped an interracial, mixed-gender pair of youth’s experiences restorying through design together? Data collected included youths' design artifacts (i.e., photos/videos of quilt patches and online design journal entries), youth’s exit ticket and final survey responses, video observations and field notes, and researcher memos. Through conducting different levels of analyses—of youth’s artifacts, learning outcomes, and interactions with others—this study sought to reveal the hidden yet pervasive narratives throughout computing education that uniquely marginalize adolescent Black girls and other nondominant youth. By engaging nondominant youth in Black Feminist-Womanist restorying through design methodologies, this study not only highlighted how valuing the everyday lived experiences and knowledge of Black girls can inform the design of more justice-oriented, computing learning environments but it also provided an avenue for Black girls to engage with critical issues while imagining possible futures in computing.