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Amanda J. Brockman

My research focuses on understanding educational problems through a social psychological lens. It is frequently motivated by my prior six-year career as a K-12 public school teacher and generally falls within two areas: 1) K-12 teacher devaluation and activism and 2) marginalization in STEM.  As a PhD candidate, my dissertation research falls within the first area and seeks to understand how the interplay of social-psychological factors and multilevel problems faced by educators in their districts led to the current, unprecedented wave of teacher strikes sweeping across the nation. My second line of research centers on using a social-psychological approach to understand the experiences of marginalized groups in STEM. This research arose through my years of work on two research teams on campus, Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative (EDEFI) within the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College and Beyond the Ph.D. within the Department of Sociology. I also pursue this line of research as an independent scholar. One of my current projects examines how Black doctoral students use social comparison processes to identify a hierarchy of belonging in STEM.